Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 1219–1233 | Cite as

Integrated Watershed Management as an Effective Approach to Curb Land Degradation: A Case Study of the Enabered Watershed in Northern Ethiopia

  • Nigussie HaregeweynEmail author
  • Ademnur Berhe
  • Atsushi Tsunekawa
  • Mitsuru Tsubo
  • Derege Tsegaye Meshesha
Article

Abstract

Integrated watershed management (IWM) is an advanced land-management approach that has been widely implemented in Tigray region of northern Ethiopia since 2004. The general aim of this study was to analyze to what extent the IWM approach is effective in curbing land degradation in the fragile drylands of the Enabered watershed in Tigray. This study assessed the impacts of IWM on (1) land-use and land-cover change and (2) the decrease of runoff loss and soil loss due to sheet and rill erosion and gully erosion. The watershed characteristics and implemented IWM measures were mapped in the field. Land use and land cover, runoff, and soil losses were compared before (2004) and after (2009) the IWM interventions. Plantations and exclosures increased significantly at the expense of grazing lands and bushland. Runoff and sheet and rill erosion decreased by 27 and 89 %, respectively, and gully channels were reclaimed. The decrease in sheet and rill erosion resulted from changes in crop cover (48 %) and conservation-practice (29 %) factors, as represented by C and P of the Universal Soil Loss Equation. The results showed that land degradation has been curbed as a result of IWM intervention. A key factor to this success was the effectiveness of the implementation approach for the main IWM components, including the participation of the local community in the form of a contribution of 20 days of free labor. Based on these results, IWM may be implemented in other regions with similar environmental and socioeconomic situations.

Keywords

Drylands Land-use and land-cover change Runoff Sheet and rill erosion Gully erosion Tigray 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the Adwa woreda Agriculture and Rural Development Office for providing access to reports and allowing us to conduct our research on the Enabered watershed. The local development agents and the communities facilitated our work. Finally, this study benefited substantially from the comments of three anonymous reviewers and two joint-editors.

References

  1. African Development Bank Group (2003) Agriculture sector support project. Available at http://www.afdb.org/en/projects-operations/project-portfolio/project/p-et-a00-003/. Accessed 11 Nov 2010
  2. Bewket W, Teferi E (2009) Assessment of soil erosion hazard and prioritization for treatment at the watershed level: case study in the Chemoga watershed, Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia. Land Degrad Dev 20:609–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bi H, Liu B, Wu J, Yun L, Chen Z, Cui Z (2009) Effects of precipitation and land use on runoff during the past 50 years in a typical watershed in Loess Plateau, China.Int J Sediment Res 24:352–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bojo J, Cassells D (1995) Land degradation and rehabilitation in Ethiopia: a reassessment. AFTES Working Paper No. 17. Environmentally Sustainable Development Division. The World Bank, Washington DC, p 48Google Scholar
  5. Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development (2003) Technical report on enabered watershed management. Department of Soil and Water Conservation Watershed Study and Design Team, Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, MekelleGoogle Scholar
  6. Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development (2008) Annual report of natural resource development and utilization. Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, AdwaGoogle Scholar
  7. Central Statistical Agency (2008) Ethiopian population and housing census results. CSA, Addis AbabaGoogle Scholar
  8. Cobourn J (1999) Integrated watershed management on the Truckee River in Nevada. J Am Water Resour Assoc 35(3):623–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Darghouth S, Ward C, Gambarelli G, Styger E, Roux J (2008) Watershed management approaches, policies, and operations: lessons for scaling up. Water Sector Board Discussion Paper Series No. 11. The World Bank, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  10. Declercq F, Poesen J (1991) Erosiekarakteristieken van de bodem in Laagen Midden Belgium. Tijdschrift van de Belgische Vereniging voor Aardrijkskundige Studies BEVAS 1:29–46Google Scholar
  11. Deressa TT, Hassan RM, Ringler C, Alemu T, Yesuf M (2009) Determinants of farmers’ choice of adaptation methods to climate change in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. Global Environ Change 19:248–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Descheemaeker K, Nyssen J, Rossi J, Poesen J, Haile M, Raes D et al (2006) Sediment deposition and pedogenesis in exclosures in the Tigray Highlands, Ethiopia. Geoderma 132:291–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Descheemaeker K, Raes D, Nyssen J, Poesen J, Haile M, Deckers J (2009) Changes in water flows and water productivity upon vegetation regeneration on degraded hill slopes in northern Ethiopia: a water balance modeling exercise. Rangel J 31(2):237–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eweg H, Van Lammeren R, Deurloo H, Zerihun W (1998) Analyzing degradation and rehabilitation for sustainable land management in the highlands of Ethiopia. Land Degrad Dev 9:529–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Feoli E, Vuerich L, Zerihun W (2002) Evaluation of environmental degradation in northern Ethiopia using GIS to integrate vegetation, geomorphological, erosion and socio-economic factors. Agric Ecosyst Environ 91(1–3):313–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fu BJ, Liu Y, Lu YH, He CS, Zeng Y, Wu BF (2011) Assessing the soil erosion control service of ecosystems change in the Loess Plateau of China. Ecol Complex 8(4):284–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gaspart F, Jabbar M, Melard C, Platteau P (1998) Participation in the construction of a local public good with indivisibilities: an Application to watershed development in Ethiopia. J Afr Econ 7(2):157–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gebremedhin B, Swinton S, Yibabe T (1999) Effects of stone terraces on crop yields and farm profitability: results of on-farm research in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. J Soil Water Conserv 54(3):568–573Google Scholar
  19. Gebremichael D, Nyssen J, Poesen J, Deckers J, Haile M, Govers G, Moeyersons J (2005) Effectiveness of stone bunds on controlling soil erosion on cropland in the Tigray highlands, northern Ethiopia. Soil Use Manag 21(3):287–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gee GW, Bauder JW (1982) Particle size analysis. In: Klute A (ed) Method of soil analysis: Part 1. Physical and mineralogical methods. American Society of Agronomy Monograph No. 9, ASA, Madison, pp 383–411Google Scholar
  21. Geiger WF, Marsalek J, Rawls WJ, Zuidema FC (1987) Manual on drainage in urbanized areas. Volume 1. Planning and design of drainage systems. Studies and Reports in Hydrology, UNESCOGoogle Scholar
  22. German L, Mansoor H, Getachew A, Mazengia W, Amede T, Stroud A (2006) Participatory integrated watershed management: evolution of concepts and methods. Working Paper No. 11. African Highlands Initiative, KampalaGoogle Scholar
  23. Gete Z (1999) Application and adaptation of WEPP to the traditional farming system of the Ethiopian highlands. Paper presented at the Conference of the International Soil Conservation Organization, Lafayette, 24–28 May 1999Google Scholar
  24. Girmay A (2010) Evaluation of integrated watershed management practices on the performance of livestock fodder development: the case of Mai Zeg-Zeg watershed in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Unpublished master’s thesis, Mekelle University, Mekelle, p 118Google Scholar
  25. Girmay G, Singh BR, Nyssen J, Borrosen T (2009) Runoff and sediment-associated nutrient losses under different land uses in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. J Hydrol 376:70–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Grepperud S (1996) Population pressure and land degradation: the case of Ethiopia. J Environ Econ Manag 30:18–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Haregeweyn N (2006) Reservoir sedimentation in the North Ethiopian highlands: assessment and modeling of controlling factors and impacts. Doctoral thesis, Department of Geography and Geology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, LeuvenGoogle Scholar
  28. Haregeweyn N, Yohannes F (2003) Testing and evaluation of agricultural nonpoint source pollution model (AGNPS) on Agucho Catchment, Western Harerghie. Agric Ecosyst Environ 99:201–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Haregeweyn N, Poesen J, Nyssen J, De Wit J, Haile H, Govers G et al (2006) Reservoirs in Tigray: characteristics and sediment deposition problems. Land Degrad Dev 17:211–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Haregeweyn N, Poesen J, Deckers J, Nyssen J, Haile M, Govers G et al (2008) Assessment and evaluation of sediment-bound nutrient export and associated costs from micro-dam catchments of Northern Ethiopia. Land Degrad Dev 19:136–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Haregeweyn N, Poesen J, Govers G, Verstraeten G, de Vente J, Nyssen J, et al. (2011) Evaluation and adaptation of a spatially-distributed erosion and sediment yield model in northern Ethiopia. Land Degrad Dev (in press)Google Scholar
  32. Hengsdijk H, Meijerink GW, Mosugu ME (2005) Modelling the effect of three soil and water conservation practices in Tigray, Ethiopia. Agric Ecosyst Environ 105:29–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Herweg K, Ludi E (1999) The performance of selected soil and water conservation measures—case studies from Ethiopia and Eritrea. Catena 36(1–2):99–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Holden S, Shiferaw B, Pender J (2005) Policy analysis for sustainable land management and food security in Ethiopia: a bioeconomic model with market imperfections. Research Report No. 140. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  35. Hurni H (1985) Soil conservation manual for Ethiopia: a field manual for conservation implementation. Soil Conservation Research Project, Addis AbabaGoogle Scholar
  36. Hurni H (1993) Land degradation, famine and land resource scenarios in Ethiopia. In: Pimentel D (ed) World soil erosion and conservation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 27–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hurni H, Tato K, Zeleke G (2005) The implications of changes in population, land use, and land management for surface runoff in the Upper Nile Basin Area of Ethiopia. Mt Res Dev 25(2):147–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jetten V, Govers G, Hessel R (2003) Erosion models: quality of spatial predictions. Hydrol Process 17:887–900CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kerr JM, Pangare G, Pangare V (2002) Watershed development projects in India: an evaluation. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  40. Kumasi TC, Asenso-Okyere K (2011) Responding to land degradation in the highlands of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. IFPRI Discussion Paper No. 01142, p 57Google Scholar
  41. Laflen JM, Moldenhauer WC (2003) Pioneering soil erosion prediction: the USLE story. World Association of Soil & Water Conservation—WASWC Special Publication No. 1, p 54Google Scholar
  42. Lambin EF, Geist HJ, Lepers E (2003) Dynamics of land use and land cover change in tropical regions. Annu Rev Environ Resour 28:205–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Liu BM, Abebe Y, McHugh OV, Collick AS, Gebrekidan B, Steenhuis TS (2008) Overcoming limited information through participatory watershed management: case study in Amhara, Ethiopia. Phys Chem Earth 33:13–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McCann J (1995) People of the plow: an agricultural history of Ethiopia, 1800–1900. University of Wisconsin Press, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  45. McRae SG (1988) Practical pedology: studying soils in the field. Ellis Horwood, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  46. Mekuria W, Veldkamp E, Haile M, Nyssen J, Muys B, Gebrehiwot K (2007) Effectiveness of exclosures to restore degraded soils as a result of overgrazing in Tigray, Ethiopia. J Arid Environ 69:270–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mekuria W, Veldkamp E, Haile M, Gebrehiwot K, Muys B, Nyssen J (2009) Effectiveness of exclosures to control soil erosion and local community perception on soil erosion in Tigray, Ethiopia. Afr J Agric Res 4(4):365–377Google Scholar
  48. Meshesha DT, Tsunekawa A, Tsubo M, Haregeweyn N (2012) Analysis of the dynamics and hotspots of soil erosion and its management scenarios: the case of the central Rift Valley of Ethiopia. Int J Sediment Res 27:84–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (2006) Watershed management guidelines. Agriculture Sector Support Project, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Addis Ababa, p 67Google Scholar
  50. Munk Ravnborg H, Ashby JA (1996) Organising for local-level watershed management: Lessons from Rio Cabuyal Watershed, Colombia. AgREN Netw Pap 65:1–14Google Scholar
  51. Munro RN, Deckers J, Haile M, Grove AT, Poesen J, Nyssen J (2008) Soil landscapes, land cover change and erosion features of the Central Plateau region of Tigray, Ethiopia: photo-monitoring with an interval of 30 years. Catena 75:55–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Mwanukuzi PK (2011) Impact of non-livelihood-based land management on land resources: the case of upland watersheds in Uporoto Mountains, South West Tanzania. Geogr J 177(1):27–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Nega F, Mathijs E, Deckers J, Haile M, Nyssen J, Tollens E (2010) Rural poverty dynamics and impact of intervention programs upon chronic and transitory poverty in Northern Ethiopia. Afr Dev Rev 22:92–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Novara A, Gristina L, Saladino SS, Santoro A, Cerda A (2011) Soil erosion assessment on tillage and alternative soil managements in a Sicilian vineyard. Soil Tillage Res 117:140–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Nyssen J, Poesen J, Haile M, Moeyersons J, Deckers J (2000) Tillage erosion on slopes with soil conservation structures in the Ethiopian highlands. Soil Tillage Res 57(3):115–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Nyssen J, Poesen J, Moeyersons J, Deckers J, Haile M, Lang A (2004) Human impact on the environment in the Ethiopian and Eritrean Highlands: a state of the art. Earth Sci Rev 64(3–4):273–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Nyssen J, Poesen J, Veyret-Picot M, Moeyersons J, Haile Mitiku, Deckers J et al (2006) Assessment of gully erosion rates through interviews and measurements: a case study from Northern Ethiopia. Earth Surf Process Landf 31:167–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Nyssen J, Poesen J, Gebremichael D, Vancampenhout K, D’aes M, Yihdego G et al (2007) On-site evaluation of stone bunds to control soil erosion on cropland in northern Ethiopia. Soil Tillage Res 94:151–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Nyssen J, Poesen J, Descheemaeker K, Haregeweyn N, Haile M, Moeyersons J et al (2008) Effects of region-wide soil and water conservation in semi-arid areas: the case of northern Ethiopia. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 52:291–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Nyssen J, Clymans W, Poesen J, Vandecasteele I, De Baets S, Haregeweyn N et al (2009) How soil conservation affects the catchment sediment budget: a comprehensive study in the north Ethiopian highlands. Earth Surf Process Landf 34:1216–1233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Nyssen J, Clymans W, Descheemaeker K, Poesen J, Vandecasteele I, Vanmaercke M et al (2010) Impact of soil and water conservation on catchment hydrological response: a case in north Ethiopia. Hydrol Process 24(13):1880–1895CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Oliver JE (1980) Monthly precipitation distribution: a comparative index. Prof Geogr 32:300–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Ostrom E (1990) Governing the commons. The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Rohde R, Hilhorst T (2001) A profile of environmental change in the Lake Manyara Basin, Tanzania. Issue Paper No. 109. Drylands Programme, International Institute for Environment and Development, LondonGoogle Scholar
  65. Segers K, Dessein J, Hagberg S, Develtere P, Haile M, Deckers J (2008) Be like bees—the politics of mobilizing farmers for development in Tigray, Ethiopia. Afr Aff 108(430):91–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sonneveld BGJS, Keyzer MA, Stroosnijder L (2011) Evaluating quantitative and qualitative models: an application for nationwide water erosion assessment in Ethiopia. Environ Model Softw 26(10):1161–1170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Tegene B (2002) Land use/land cover changes in the Derekolli catchment of the south Wollo Zone of Amhara Region, Ethiopia. East Afr Soc Sci Res Rev 18(1):1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Tetzlaff B, Wendland F (2012) Modeling sediment input to surface waters for German States with MEPhos: methodology, sensitivity and uncertainty. Water Resour Manag 26:165–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. United States Department of Agriculture (1994) Keys to soil taxonomy. SMSS Technical Monograph No. 19. USDA, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  70. Vancampenhout K, Nyssen J, Gebremichael D, Deckers J, Poesen J, Haile M et al (2006) Stone bunds for soil conservation in the northern Ethiopian highlands: impacts on soil fertility and crop yield. Soil Tillage Res 90:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Walter H (1985) Vegetation of the Earth and ecological systems of the geobiosphere. Heidelberg Science Library, Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wischmeier WH, Smith DD (1978) Predicting rainfall erosion losses: a guide to conservation planning. Agriculture Handbook No. 537. United States Department of Agriculture, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  73. Yadav RC, Bhushan LS (2002) Conservation of gullies in susceptible riparian areas of alluvial soil regions. Land Degrad Dev 13:201–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zhou P, Luukkanen O, Tokola T, Nieminen J (2008) Effect of vegetation cover on soil erosion in a mountainous watershed. Catena 75:319–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nigussie Haregeweyn
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ademnur Berhe
    • 2
  • Atsushi Tsunekawa
    • 1
  • Mitsuru Tsubo
    • 1
  • Derege Tsegaye Meshesha
    • 1
  1. 1.Arid Land Research CenterTottori UniversityTottoriJapan
  2. 2.Department of Land Resources Management and Environmental ProtectionMekelle UniversityMekelleEthiopia

Personalised recommendations