Gum Arabic exudate was collected from Acacia Adamawa trees around Sangerei, Girie Local Government Area.

These experiments were conducted at Sangerei, Girie Local Government Area. Two rates (1 and 3 tones/fed) of gum alone or in combination with other organic amendments namely: farmyard manure (FYM), chicken manure (CHM) and Bagasse (BAGS) were applied. Soil samples were analysed at the end of each season for Water retention (WR), aggregate stability (AS), Hydraulic conductivity (HC), pH (paste), electrical conductivity of the saturation extract, Calcium, Magnesium, Potasium, and Sodium. Growth parameters measured were plant height and fresh weight. The results of soil experiment showed that the two rates of gum alone did improve rendering (soil water retention, aggregate stability or hydraulic conductivity). Water retained in pots in case of FYM and CHM is lower compared to gum alone and BAGS. This was attributed to the better growth and higher yield of FYM and CHM treatments, where more water consumed by the plant. Gum in combination with BAGS insignificantly increased AS and decreased WR and HC.

1.1 Background of study
Soil physical condition is one factor that can limit crop production. Poor soil physical condition can restrict water intake into the soil and subsequent movement, plant root development, and aeration of the soil. Producers and researchers alike are interested in improving the physical condition of the soil and, thus enhance crop production. These goals can be accomplished in part through the use of good management techniques. In addition, there are amending materials that claim to improve the soil physical condition. Such materials are called soil conditioners.

Recently, a major sound contribution to crop production technology is the application of synthetic polymers to the soil of arid and semi-arid conditions, where hot dry conditions cause very high rates of evaporation. Addition of synthetic polymers to soil was found to improve soil physical conditions. They stabilize soil structure, hence, improving aeration, water flow, seedling emergence and aggregatation (Gardner, 1972). The addition of synthetic polymers has been known for many years as means of modifying soil physical properties (Harris et al., 1966). However, synthetic polymers have not been commercially used in agriculture, partly, due to economic consideration and partly to the incomplete understanding of complex polymer-soil interactions.

Research continued to seek better and cheaper means for improving soil physical properties. This research leads to many promising synthetic polymers of very high molecular weight, which were found to be effective at a very low quantity. Many formulations of synthetic polymers are available, often based on industrial by-products. Although synthetic polymers have proved to be very effective as soil conditioners, many questions about their residual effect and toxicity are not clearly answered. Many doubts were raised about the monomers left in the soil after polymers degrade. Although the amount needed to treat a soil is relatively small, still the cost is very high and not economically feasible.

1.2 Statement of Problem
A new approach is to use Hydrocolloids (Gum Arabic) as natural polymers. Being a natural product, they could be environmentally safe and can eliminate fears and worries about residual effect and toxicity and are safe for humans, plant, and animal. Natural polymers besides being soil conditioners, they add an extra nutritional value to soil. Also, because they are natural products, they will be cheaper and available compared to synthetic polymers.

Natural conditioners are flexible since many modifications can be done to change their molecular weight, charge and their composition. Many important elements e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium are available or can be incorporated in their molecules. They can be added to soil alone or mixed with other organic amendments e.g. farmyard manure, chicken manure and bagasse. They can be added to the soil as solution dissolved in irrigation water, emulsion, or as a powder mixed with soil. Gum arabic is a natural hydrocolloid, available in plenty in Adamawa and cheaper compared to other synthetic or natural hydrocolloids.

There are researches on gum Arabic use for various purposes and none is discussing it’s use on slum rendering, it is against this backdrop that tis research seeks to analyze the use of gum Arabic on slum rendering.

1.3 Objectives of Study
1. To determine the effect of different rates of gum arabic on:

• Soil water retention, hydraulic conductivity and aggregate slum rendering.

• Improvement of the geotechnical properties of slums.

Justification of the Study
Rivers State has an area of 3,032.2 sq. Km and lies between 1,200 and 1,800 meters above sea level. The population of Rivers is estimated at 1,630,934 (as projected in 2009) of which female constitute 52% while male is 48%. The major economic activity in the area is farming and business but the road network is in a poor state making it impossible for farmers to access the markets. The cost of improving roads is exorbitant due to clay soil which requires a replacement with imported materials or being stabilized. The traditional renders like lime, cement etc are very expensive hence alternative means of using gum arabic are sorted. The gum arabic is readily available and has disposal problem with National environmental management Authority (Nema).

Scope of the Study
Reviewing literature pertaining to standardized laboratory procedures for preparing mixtures using traditional stabilizers. The scope included:

• A classification of the slums by performing the following tests: natural water content, particle size distribution, Atterberg limits, moisture-density relationship using standard Proctor test and mineralogy of the clay soil. Other procedures for mixtures involving nontraditional stabilizers that have been studied previously by other researchers.

• Developing a laboratory mixture preparation and testing procedure that can be used to evaluate and compare traditional and non-traditional stabilizers including gum arabic.

• Identifying the existence and significance of trends among base soil characteristics, and strength characteristics using the laboratory procedure developed. This study provides insight into how gum arabic as used in rendering is effective for stabilizing clay soils commonly encountered in Rivers state. This report can be used as a guide to help in developing materials that can be used in road construction to improve the economy in the State. In addition, will solve a disposal problem for the company and hence reduce a pollution level that endangers the lives of people.

The Limitations
The main research limitations are;

• Lack of capital to carry out further research to ascertain some reactions like using more quantity of gum Arabic.

• Lack of equipment like combustion chambers where high temperatures of gum Arabic is achieved.

• Lack of grinding machine that could have enabled the comparison between burnt and unburnt gum Arabic on slum management.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 38 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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