ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF GARRI PROCESSING IN OMADEWU-EFFOYO, EDUMOGA, OKPOKWU LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, BENUE STATE, NIGERIA
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Garri is an important staple food that is likened to a hot-cake which provides food security to a good number of persons, and it is a bye product of cassava termed magic crop in Nigeria. The study which investigated the processes and the environmental impact of garri production in Omadewu-Effoyo, Edumoga in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria was guided by two research questions. A survey research design was adopted for the study in the five garri production sites sampled for the study area. Two sets of instruments used for the study were HANNA COMBO Digital pH meter and pictures snapped from the garri production sites within the study area. The analysis of soil samples, well water and effluents obtained from the study sites showed low pH range from 3.5 - 5.4, indicating the acidic nature of the study area, portending an unfavourable living environment, particularly, to humans. Though garri processing which undergoes multi-stage processing is a profitable and worthwhile venture to the processors to whom their source of livelihood is attached to its apron string, the consequences of the large amount of effluents generated from the processes torpedoed the purity of the environment, hence recommendations to mitigate the environmental disaster impact as well as the impact on the garri processors themselves were highlighted.