The Institute of Erosion Studies, Federal University of Technology Owerri has its origin as a linkage programme established in 1984 between the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria and the Delft University of Technology (DUT) and Wageningen Agricultural University (WAU) in the Netherlands. The linkage was popularly known as Erosion Project and was from inception financed by the European Community (EC) in an effort to tackle observed soil erosion problems of Southeastern Nigeria and conserve soil and soil-related resources of the region. The Institute of Erosion Studies was granted formal status by The National Universities Commission (NUC) in 1992 (NUC/ES/328/Vol.IX/123) with the mandate of training, planning, conducting and coordinating research as well as offering consultancy services on soil erosion and related environmental problems. However, the Institute has added academic activities with a curriculum approved by relevant authorities and this has enhanced training at various cadres including PhD programmes.
The VISION of the Institute is to become a renowned Research Centre by setting up an evolving learning environment, conducive for novel researches with the sole aim of solving environmental problems. The centre will be a depository and custodian of data relating to erosion and flood management, thereby becoming an International Centre of Excellence and Reference in these environmental issues.
To achieve its objectives, the Institute is expected to carry out the following activities:
To take sequential inventories of erosion features and related factors for Nigeria and the West African sub-region in general through air photo interpretation, satellite range processing and field surveys where and whenever possible.
Studies on run-off generation, soil structure degradation, badlands, gully, rill and sheet erosions, sedimentation processes, hydrology, wind erosion, wind velocity, stream river bank and coastal erosion, tunnel erosion and environmental control.
Studies on the effect of erosion on settlement patterns, transportation, physical infrastructure, farm productivity and food production.
Study of traditional farming practices/erosion incidents resulting from them, research and development of biological and mechanical protection measures, land stabilization techniques, etc.
Development of joint research and training programmes(collaboration) with other Institutions so as to understand and combat all forms of erosion by water and wind – whether this is a sheet, rill, tunnel, gully or coastal and thereby affect soil conservation in Nigeria and the West African Sub-region.
Studies on climate change, global warming, meteorology, atmospheric sciences, etc and their effects on land-use/land cover dynamics within the West African Sub-region.
The Institute shall extend the results of these studies to the communities that are affected by erosion, flooding, badland, desertification, and general environmental hazards and degradation. These findings shall as well be shared with other organizations (Federal, State, Local Government Areas, Parastatals, and Multinational Agencies) that are inclined to erosion, flooding and the improvement of the environment.