Mechanized Infantry Training Exercise as a Threat to the Vegetation Resources in the Savanna Ecological Zone, Nigeria

Godwin Brian ONWUMERE


Infantry training exercises are conducted on terrestrial ecosystem which harbour a lot of natural resources on which the local inhabitants depend for their livelihood. A mechanized infantry training exercise in Kaduna State, Nigeria, was used to assess the impact of these trainings on the natural resources of the ecosystem. Plants and other forms of vegetation damaged by troops were collected. Also, plants that were uprooted or damaged along the trench lines or by moving armoured personnel carriers and military trucks were identified. These damaged plants were put in different use categories. Result revealed that a total of 1813 plants spread in fifty-seven species were uprooted or severed from the main tree during the training. Fifteen (26.3%) damaged species served as food to the indigenous people and animals in the ecosystem. These include Annona senegalensis and Piliostigma thonningii. Ten (0.6%) species are used for soup and spices. They include Brachystegia eurycoma and Afzelia africana. Ficus sur and Afzelia africana were among the seventeen plants that served as forage and fodder species. The people depend on twenty (35.09%) of damaged plant species for their health care and harvest eight plant species for sale, construction and provision of house hold items. The training impacted negatively on the wild plant resources on which the people and wildlife depend on for their sustenance. There is need to integrate the suitability of  any chosen training arena with the potential loss of natural resources that might come to the local people through collateral damage on the biota.

Keywords: Damage, Exercise, Infantry, Resources, Vegetation

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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