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Geography of Ondo State

Ondo state was created from the defunct Western region in 1976. It now consists of the nine administrative divisions of the former Western State, which then were Akoko, Akure, Ekiti Central, Ekiti North, Ekiti South, Ekiti West, Okitipupa, Ondo and Owo. Ondo state is also known as “sunshine state” and has its capital city at Akure.  With eighteen local governments, Ondo state covers a land area of 14,793 square kilometers. As at the 2006 census, the population is 3,441,024.

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Ondo state is bounded in the North by Ekiti and Kogi States, in the East by Edo State, in the west by Osun and Ogun states and in the south by the Atlantic Ocean. There are rivers, creeks and lakes in and around Ondo State with very prominent rivers like Ala, Oni, Ose, and others. The infestation of these water bodies by the hyacinth weed causes ecological menace in the state.

The climate of Ondo, like other states in the southwestern part of Nigeria, is that of Tropical Rain Forest type, with distinct wet and dry seasons. The tropical climate of the state is broadly divided into two: Dry season (Harmattan season) and Raining season. The annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm in the southern areas to 1,150mm in the northern areas. In the south, the mean monthly temperature is 27 degree Celsius, while the mean relative humidity is over seventy five percent. The older sand ridge develop brown and orange sandy soils, while the most recent ones near the coast have light grey sandy soils. In the northern part of the state, the mean monthly temperature and its range are about 30 degree Celsius. The mean monthly relative humidity is less than seventy percent. Soils here are skeletal in nature and are of comparatively recent origin.

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Generally, the land rises from the coastal part of Ilaje, Ese-Odo and Okitipupa areas to highlands and steeps down at the Northern parts of the state. The soils are mostly well-drained, with a medium texture and have high agricultural value for plants. Many crops are cultivated in Ondo state, but the most prominent plantations are in Odigbo, Okitipupa and Irele Local Government Areas.

The big government universities in Ondo state are the Federal University of Technology Akure, Akure and the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba/Akoko. The state contains the largest number of public schools in Nigeria – over 880 primary schools and 190 secondary schools. The majority of the citizens live in urban centers, with ethnic composition largely from the Yoruba subgroups of the Akoko, Akure, Ikale, Ilaje, Ondo, and Owo. The coastal section is inhabited by Ijaw minority (such as Apoi and Arogbo); while a number of the Ondo State people reside in Oke-Igbo. Their Yoruba language is slightly different from the general one, but they are also Yorubas.

The creeks and the riverine areas of Ondo State are a region with ecological problems. Penetration of the area is hampered by mangrove swamps. In addition, the infestation of the creeks and water bodies in Ondo State by the hyacinth weed is probably the most menacing ecological problem in the state.

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A lot has been done, though, to curb the menace of hyacinth weed thereby making the island waterways navigable by boats and trawlers. Another menacing ecological problem is the accelerated soil erosion. This is common in Efon-Alaaye, Irele, Odigbo, Okitipupa and Owo Local Government Areas.

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