There are many events that give harm to human being, although most of them are made by humans. Erosion is the one of these events that harms people. It is the loss of the productive part of soil especially by water and wind. Moreover, lack of plant and inclined areas are also reasons for erosion. Erosion constitutes an effect chain which starts in agricultural and rural areas and reaches people even in cities.
The starting point of erosion is generally rain. When it rains, the flowing water carries the upper and the most productive part of the soil. Plants, especially trees, keep the soil and do not allow water to carry it. However, this process will be easier if the area is inclined and has fewer plants. In inclined areas, the flowing water gains more power and the soil becomes less resistant to water. According to Pimentel et al (1976), in the U.S., at least one third of the productive part of the soil has been lost at agricultural areas during the last 200 years and this costs $500 million in one year. Consequently, rainwater carries the most efficient part of the soil to rivers, lakes, seas or reservoirs, such as dams.
The occurrence of erosion affects the dams. The soil carried to the dam fills the dam and makes it useless. In other words, a dam is destroyed by the soil. Also, if the area is suitable for erosion and erosion is common in that area, it will not take much time to fill the dam. On the other hand, a dam has many functions in rural areas. For instance, a dam in a rural area provides irrigation, electricity production, and fishing opportunities to people living there. As a result, dams are vital for rural areas.
If a dam is damaged by erosion, firstly, the inhabitants of this area will suffer from its effects. Because of the damage in a dam, there will not be enough water for farmers. In addition to that, the soil will be not as productive as before. As Harvey et al stated (1995), when erosion happens, less water enters the soil and becomes available for the plant. Furthermore, erosion causes a decrease of the minerals, such as potassium, nitrogen, and calcium, which are necessary for the plant. As a result, eroded soil would produce 30% less harvests. Similarly, fishermen will be affected by erosion and by damaged dams. Pimentel et al(1976) stated that soil carried by water harms the biological environment, because the materials in the soil kill both plants and animals. In addition, soil decreases the transparency of water, so it reduces the light absorption. Thus, fishermen will no longer able to fish there. The food production will decrease and the people will not earn enough income. Then they will become poorer and try to find different jobs. As a consequence, the lack of jobs will force people to immigrate to big cities.
Lastly, life in big cities will be affected by immigration. The population of cities will increase. The population of the productive class will decrease and in contrast, the population of consumers will increase. There will not be enough places for immigrants. Therefore, unplanned urbanization will take place. Many people will live in bad conditions. There will be some important problems in city life. For example, the capacity of the schools will not be enough for children. According to Vedder, Gallaway, Moore(2000), if many people immigrates to a city, success of education will decrease, because there will be an inequality between the children of the immigrants and the local people. Accordingly, children won’t be educated well. Another problem will occur in the health care system. There will not be sufficient health centers for the patients, whose numbers will be increasing day by day. Therefore, there would be epidemic illnesses among these people. As a result, the life standards of the city will decrease.
In conclusion, erosion affects not only the inhabitants of an eroded area, but also the people living in far cities. What is more, erosion influences the life of other living things and kills them by poisoning and destroying their habitats. Governments have to find the ways of preventing erosion, because it is the one of the most important problem for nature and for human being. They must consider the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “A nation that destroys its soils, destroys itself.” (Harvey et al, 1995,p 1121). If a nation does not want to be destroyed, it has to educate its people and illuminate them about the harms of erosion.
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