How Landscapes Form An Integral Part Of Our Livelihood

GLF 2017 Blog Competition
Morenike Daniel

According to Wikipedia, a landscape is the visible features of an area of land, its landforms and how they integrate with natural or man-made features. Landscapes are a natural blessing to mankind and they have been given to us to use in whatever measure we can use them. Not all landscapes are natural though, some have been modified by human beings. While some landscapes suffer disasters naturally like floods, wildfire and earthquake or through man made problems, some have been used to and for our own benefits. Landscapes come in form of mountains, water bodies, deserts, forests and a host of others. These landscapes also help to give a sense of national identity to the people who inhabit it – “The character of a landscape helps define the self image of the people who inhabit it and sense of place that differentiates one region from other regions.” (Source: Wikipedia).

Landscapes have been used over the years for a lot of purposes ranging from buildings to tourists attractions to farmlands etc. Over the years, there have been some uses of landscapes which have been beneficial to us while on the other hand, some uses have also caused great havoc to us. In Nigeria as a country where I come from, every region in the country is characterised by one landscape or the other. For example in Calabar, we have the Obudu Cattle Ranch which has served as a tourist attraction, honeymooning site for lovers and also a home to nature lovers. In Ogun State, we have the Olumo Rock which is a mountain and as served as a site for tourists; the same applies to Zuma Rock in FCT, Abuja. There are so many other landscapes in the country but I quickly want to delve into the subject matter. Landscapes over the years has formed an integral part of our livelihood and has also helped us in the food aspect. Talking about landscapes that are being used for our benefits, in major parts of the country farming is an integral business. Crops are being planted en masse and are harvested at the right time. Most especially in the Northern region where yams are a major staple food. This has helped the country in so many ways. There are some landscapes turned skyscrapers and beautiful buildings which in turn has helped to beautify the country and in turn attract foreign investors. In some parts of the country, some lands are grounds for animal rearing and grazing. Animals like cows are led by shepherds who control where they’ll feed on and where they’ll walk to. These cows when they’re fed well and are bigger are sold out during festive periods or for ceremonial occasions. Some lands have also been used to build pedestrian bridges, highways, set up network masts which has made life much easier for the citizens. Lands have also been turned to restaurants, bars, movie houses which have in turned served individuals a great deal.

The uses of these lands that has served as benefit to us has been discussed above. Now, I would like to dwell on the uses that has caused havoc to us. There are two sides to everything – the good and the bad. As much as having industries and companies in the country matter to us, these have in turned affected the climate and has affected human living. When a land which was characterized by tall trees and shrubs is destroyed and industries are built on it, they begin to produce elements and release gases into the atmosphere. These gases are inhaled by individuals, makes people sick and also affect climate change negatively. The more reason why there is an increase in mortality rate in recent times. We have lands in the country where only garbages are thrown there and these places are not being properly taken care of, this affects human living because when people pass by these refuse dumps, there is a stench oozing from there which must not be inhaled. Some lands through man made problems like wars have been left desolate and infertile. In conclusion, I believe if we as individuals, citizens and as a country can focus on developing these gifts that has been given to us rather than destroying it, we believe the world will be a better place to inhabit. And if this change starts from we as individuals, others around us will be able to imbibe the good from us and generations coming behind will meet a good legacy. Attitudes of throwing dirts on the grounds, cutting trees for no reason and using mountains and hills as hideout for criminals has to be stopped. Landscapes have to be used more productively. There are many productive uses for these landscapes and it will do us good if we can use as such.

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