Harnessing the Permaculture Potential for the Restoration of Large Scale Degraded Gully Landscapes in Kubanni Watershed Zaria

Kharbal Kaltho (CEESP member) with his colleagues, Bala Ibrahim Girku and Maltho J. have conducted a research in the Kubanni drainage basin since 2006. The Kubanni drainage basin is located in Zaria 11008’58”- 11010’25” N and 7036’45” - 7038’28”E. 


Degraded gully landscape in the Kubanni watershed, January, 2006.

The Kubanni River has its source from the Kampagi Hill, in Shika, near Zaria Yusuf. Generally the soil of the Kubanni basin is classified as leached ferruginous tropical soil developed on ragolith rich in fine grain quartz and oligoclase. As Rao and T. S. (1998) described that the soil belongs to Alfisol order. Alfisols are abundant in the semi-arid tropics, are fragile and subject to crusting, resulting in high runoff amounts and large soil losses. The Kubanni River is one of the main tributaries of Galma River; it has its headwaters from Kampagi Hills and flows into the Galma River near Tudun Wada Zaria Yusuf.

Many years of uncheck erosion has degraded the kubanni watershed leaving gullies and a degraded landscape striped of its diverse native flora, with leached soils. This down ward trajectory in ecosystem function and ecological resilience in the Kubanni watershed can be attributed to civic neglect and the absence of a management plan for land, water and biomass which are the vital ingredients in restoring and rehabilitating ecological systems resilience and services in the face of climate change and rapid degradation of vast tropical soils. Success stories abound of the rehabilitation of vast degraded semi-arid landscapes into functioning natural ecological systems when the right knowledge and sustainable management principles are applied based on the unique nature of each sites soil characteristics and bio-regional ecological preferences.


To achieve the aim, data was compiled from literature reviews and personal observations, exploring various successful large scale degraded landscape restoration examples, as well has studies carried out in the Kubbani river basin. While qualitative primary data were obtained through Field surveys from 2006 to determine the physical level of degradation, nature and composition of native flora and suitability of conservation measures for effective rehabilitation of the degraded gully landscape of the Kubanni river basin.


The major concern in the kubanni watershed is rehabilitating the degraded landscape to enable it function effectively, in order to benefit from the full range of ecological, riparian and agroforestry services of funcional perennial vegetative cover to mitigate soil erosion and it associated nutrient loss.

Terracing the degraded gully landscape will create a stable platform for permaculture regeneration that is a productive ecosystem assembly to foster natural succession process of perennial vegetative cover, increasing biomass, soil moisture and infiltration, build soil organic matter and reduce sedimentation. Since the kubanni watershed lies with the adminisative boundary of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, a policy and strategic landscape conservation rehabilitation plan with defined conservation buffer zones, restrict cultivation and cattle grazing activities in line with a comprehensive permaculture and agroforestry scheme along side other best management practices is required. The stakeholders meeting will Enlighten prospective users of the the watershed in line with the new rehabilitation strategy, which will include incentives for the ecosystems service there practices provide

Landscape Rehabilitation actions in the kubanni river basin will restore a divers native and productive perennial agroforestry riparian cover which will build biomass, regenerated soil organic matter, increase biodiversity and productivity for livelihood.

Policy action should be taken in recognition and support of social ecological stewardship/civic ecology innovations as national assets towards sustainable development by giving it priority and financial support similar to conventional economic entrepreneurial grant schemes, since the outcomes of such environmental initiatives are vital to social ecology well been and climate change mitigation.

Urgent action needs to be taken in the restoration and rehabilitation of large scale degraded landscapes to restore its ecosystems services and efficiency as well as it role in mitigating urban and rural environmental challenges such as flooding, water scarcity and climate change

1. Kharbal James Kaltho
Design Infinity Studios Ltd. Lugbe, Abuja.
[email protected]

2. Bala Ibrahim Girku
Skid Studio Ltd. Lugbe, Abuja.
[email protected]

3. Maltho J.
Department of Urban and Regional Planning ATBU, Bauchi
[email protected]

Work area: 
Social Policy
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