Landscape techniques for erosion control and slope stabilization

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Increased population growth has led to increased demand on land resources mostly for economic activities. This has led to the destruction of resources such as vegetation cover, which protect the land surface against erosion and slope failure. Generally, slopes may become unstable and fail when they are exposed to the environment. Erosion and instability of sloppy areas have thus become a problem in both urban and rural areas. A brief is taken of erosion and unstable slopes, factors causing them and their effects on development. This is followed by a discussion of some of the conventional and indigenous methods used in stabilizing unstable slopes and controlling erosion. The discussion then considers the weaknesses and strong points of both systems of control, emphasizing on landscape methods used in solving such environmental problems. This write-up also seeks to identify the contributions I roles of the landscape practice in solving the problem of slope instability and erosion control and ends with a summary and recommendations. Although no single method could be recommended as ideal for all situations, a combination of some of them could be used as means to control erosion, stabilize slopes and enhance the environment. It is recommended that physical development on all sloping areas should be controlled and monitored by strict supervision of the District! Metropolitan assemblies in consultation with the Town and Country Planning Department, and Research Institutions like the Environmental Protection Agency, Building and Road Research Institute, and the Ghana Institute of Engineers who have direct interest in the environment.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science degree in Landscape Studies, 2001