Watershed management program on Santiago Island, Cape Verde
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The Watershed Management Program (WMP) was put into operation in early 1985 on Santiago Island, Cape Verde, with the stated purpose, “to develop and protect the soil and water resources of the Program-designated watersheds … to stabilize the natural environment and increase agricultural production potential in the Program area.” The approach to soil and water conservation in the program has been to build erosion and flood control structures (engineering approach) and plant trees (biological approach) to decrease rill and gully erosion, trap sediment behind control structures, provide flood protection, increase infiltration, increase fuelwood and fodder production, and increase water supplies for irrigation. There have been many successes resulting from specific management activities, but flawed approach or implementation in a few key areas has acted to impede the program's complete success, including lack of a scientific basis for evaluating its impact on soil and water conservation; poor design, placement, and maintenance of some major hydraulic structures; inadequate intervention in stabilizing farmlands or education of farmers and landowners in the need for and benefits of agroforestry; and incomplete integration of engineering and biological approaches.
Key wordsWatershed resource protection Erosion control Sediment control Agroforestry, Water resources development Soil and water conservation works Environmental impacts
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