Sample Essay on Effects of Soil Erosion on Humans
There are many effects of soil erosion on humans. In most cases, soil erosion affects humans indirectly. Agricultural activities of humans are affected the most by soil erosion. Agriculture entails growing of crops and rearing of animals. All these activities are linked to the soil.
Soil erosion is the carrying away of the top soil layer by water, wind and ice. Top soil layer comprises of the nutrients, microorganisms and water that plants need to grow. When soil erosion occurs, water, ice, or wind carries away these soil elements in the top layer of the soil. The subsoil layer that is left does not have these elements.
This implies that by carrying away the top soil layer, soil erosion affect the agricultural activities of humans. Soil that is left after soil erosion has occurred is unfit for crop production. Soil’s ability to retain nutrients and water as well as supply them to the crops grown by humans is negatively affected by soil erosion.
In addition, important microorganisms that help in formation of rich soils through decomposition are carried away alongside the top soil layer. This affects the rate at which soil forms in some places. Subsoil that is left has poor chemical and physical properties and it is therefore unfit for the growth of crops.
Soil erosion also affects humans economically. In growing crops, humans invest money in purchasing inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides among others. When fertilizers are applied, they supply the soil with nutrients that are necessary for the growth of crops. Soil erosion carries these fertilizers away.
In some cases, soil erosion carries away the planted seeds and small crops. It also carries away chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides that may have been applied in the higher lands. These chemicals are deposited in lower grounds and water bodies together with the carried soil.
When fertilizers and manures are carried away by soil erosion, farmers are forced to apply them again in their land. This cost them extra expenses to purchase them. In places where planted seeds are carried away by soil erosion, farmers are forced to purchase new seeds and hire labor for planting them again.
Deposition of soil that has chemicals and fertilizers in the water bodies such as lakes, dams and rivers kill aquatic animals such as fish that humans depend on for food. Fertilizer deposit causes excessive growth of algae in the dams and lakes whose removal cost humans money. It also affects the quality of water consumed by humans from these water bodies.
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