Water Spreading (typical example from Hashatribab) [Sudan]

Sidud (Local Arabic) - Tarrit (Beja dialect) for earth dams

approaches_2543 - Sudan

Completeness: 89%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Gaiballa Abdelaziz

Sudan University of Science and Technology


SLM specialist:

Dabaloub Sayed

+249 912913623

SCLUWPA Dirctor (1986-1995), now the ECDP Centre

Port Sudan


Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Soil Conservation, Land Use and Water Adminstratio (Soil Conservation, Land Use and Water Adminstratio) - Sudan
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
VU University Amsterdam (VU University Amsterdam) - Netherlands
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Sudan University of Science and Technology (SUST) - Sudan

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Reference(s) to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Technologies

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

Construction of water spreading system on khor and wadi with machinery jointly government and farmers in dam compaction and pitching.

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

Aims / objectives: The main objective of the approach is to enable domestic land users cultivating crops (sorghum mainly) on a flood plain through construction of an earthen, stone-pitched barrier across the bed of a khor (stream). This earth dam serves to divert floodwaters onto their fields downstream. The approach is fully subsidized as the government provide technician and machines for the construction. Only some voluntary contribution from the beneficiaries is needed (for stone pitching). However maintenance support by the government is not provided later on.

This case study is typical of all those in the State. All are demand-driven...In addition the government supports farmers in rural extension e.g. preparedness, awareness, organization and mobilization, and to establish farmers VDCs (Village Development Committee) to guide the community in public works. Training and capacity building sessions in cultural extension are hold to develop crop raising techniques. The aim behind this is mainly to fill the gap of people’s deficiency in storage of crops such as sorghum and millet to maintain food security in the region.

Methods: 1/ Earth dam and terraces construction for water diversion and spreading.
2/ Agronomic measures e.g. ploughing, levelling, furrowing etc. to raise the soil to its maximum capacity.
3/ Provision of certified seeds: Varieties of short mature period and of drought resistance.
4/ Provision of special hand tools for weeding to maintain soil moistures and sustain the growing of crops.
5/ Development of mixed crop systems by provision of cash crop to support the rural economy.

Stages of implementation: 1. Identify and prioritize the needs of local beneficiaries according to their land size, social and economic situation, the local soil types, the cultivated indigenous crops etc.
2. To reach mutual partnership between Government and local communities a certain number of beneficiaries of the community is dedicated to contribute to volunteer manual work.
3. Based on peoples previous natural environment experience the location of the dam is to be examined and an engineering map has to be set out. That means people’s involvement from the very beginning of the project for planning, design and implementation.
4. For construction the government provides necessary needed machines.
5. The local community should mainly ensure the maintenance and the clearing out of the land for smooth water flow.

Role of stakeholders: Division of labor between the stockholders so as to identify the role
1- Land owners: piece of land.
2- Farmers: farming activities.
3- Ministry of Agriculture (MoA): provide machinery and technical support.
4- SLM specialist: will give the technical advice.

Other important information: Floodwater now takes way to any lower area and creates a new water course.
After several years soil should be tilled by ploughing, planking and furrowing to increase water infiltration and percolation as over the years the accumulated silt turns the soils nearly impermeable.

Finally some types of soil in the Red Sea State become very fertile and rich and do not need chemical or organic fertilizers anymore.

2.3 Photos of the Approach

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied



Region/ State/ Province:

Red Sea State

Further specification of location:

Sinkat Locality


This covers the case study of Hashtribab water spreading scheme as documented in the associated QT though is an approach used all over the State. e.g. Erkawit.

2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:


2.7 Type of Approach

  • project/ programme based

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused mainly on SLM with other activities (Rehabilitation of natural resources and agriculture for improving soil conditions and fertility. )

To overcome the inability of poor farmers to invest in durable water harvesting schemes and (later; in the 1990s and onwards) to take over the implementational role from NGOs and donors. They could continue to invest but they should be stopped to be concernde with implementation as they were in the 1970s and 1980s

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: Lack of water to grow crops, lack of money for farmers to invest in infrastructure.

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

social/ cultural/ religious norms and values
  • hindering

Lack of machinery and money to construct durable schemes

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Assistance from Government

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • hindering

1/Limited resources specially in the infrastructure of the concerned government departments
2/ Low capacity of the traditionally adopted technology as well as at farmers communities level.
3/ Limited financial resources especially of extension and capacity building and training at grass root level as well as at staff level

Treatment through the SLM Approach: 1/ Raise the capacity of the technology used
2/ intensive training of both cultural, and rural extension
3/ Training in water harvesting techniques for traditional farmers and in reclamation methods in water management
4/ Encourage farmers innovations and initiatives based on community based approaches for land use management

institutional setting
  • hindering

1/ At community level VDCs has low capacity in community organization
2/ Follow up and monitoring is very limited and at an adhoc bases where as carried on occasionally
3/ serious problem as related to water spreading and diversions usually vulnerable to breakage and washed out. The miss located sites of earth dam constriction is the main factor behind

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Raising the capacity of Gov. Dept. in extension techniques and the most develop water harvesting methods

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • hindering

Some conflicts on some areas arise

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Negotiation between parties / stakeholders under their traditional leadership (tribal)

knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • hindering

Lack of technical training

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Fund for training should be available

workload, availability of manpower
  • hindering

partnership between different partners with less extent of homogeneity and commitment.

Treatment through the SLM Approach: strength the linkage between different partners in the targeted activities.

  • hindering

Wage differences between NGO staff and government employees

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Top-up payment to government employees

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

Farmers with VDCs and individuals.

The adult (40 years) and youth (20 – 30 years). Rarely it has be taken by women

It can be said that the whole community is economically disadvantaged

Men predominant in meeting and negotiations. This were conducted through the VDC's and community elected community board.

  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers

Extension agents

  • NGO
  • national government (planners, decision-makers)

Soil Conservation Department (SCLUWPA) (named differently in different parts of the country), Range and Pastures and Forestry Dirctorates

Community leaders (tribal), Localities assembly, VDCs, Community representatives and Ministers at State level

3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation self-mobilization Demand-driven
planning interactive Together with specialists
implementation interactive Some subsidized labour and in some cases volonteer labours
monitoring/ evaluation none None
Research none Some information provided

3.3 Flow chart (if available)


Institutional framework: Stakeholders and their roles: cross-disciplinary linkages between SMAAFR, collaborating institutions and farmers.


Abdalla Osman Eisa (Soil Conservation and Land Use Admin. Red Sea State, Sudan)

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • mainly land users, supported by SLM specialists

Most of the schemes (of which Hashatribab is a good example) began as a traditional water spreading schemes. Thus the Government built upon the traditionally adopted farmer's technology and developed it my means of improved soil and crop management knowledges and capacity bulding to farmers.

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by mainly by SLM specialists with consultation of land users. The machinery necessary was in the hands of the Government and the specialists knew what was possible and how it could be done. But for all the land users were consulted.
To develop the traditionally adopted technology it is in the hand of the people themselves and need to be supported by the government. Such technology men are dealing with the natural resources, preventing tree cutting, moving regularly for grazing governance to recover ranges etc. and also they need hand tools awareness techniques.

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?


Specify who was trained:
  • land users
  • field staff/ advisers
  • other related goverment Departments
If relevant, specify gender, age, status, ethnicity, etc.

on gender basis.

Form of training:
  • farmer-to-farmer
  • public meetings
Subjects covered:

Rural extension as community organization, public work methods, extension and awareness services

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?


Specify whether advisory service is provided:
  • on land users' fields
Describe/ comments:

Conventional extension; Key elements: 1.Visits, 2.Training, 3.Practice and training by doing ; Cross visits are very important to improve the technical know how and to learn by experience. The practical training is very useful and effective rather to the theoretical one.

Advisory service is quite adequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities; Yes, in terms of technical know how but not in terms of adequate resources

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, a little
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
  • man power
Give further details:

Because the local institution was involved in negotiations with the Government and also organizing communities; mobilization and awareness. SCLUWPA activities are mainly oriented to conserve soil and vegetation. They tend to clarify land according to the amount of Khor floods into land for agriculture and the land of forests and ranges. This practice is carried on down streams of seasonal rivers while is not specifically going in plains which in need to be reclaimed to reduce sand dunes formation and desert like conditions

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?



There were no changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: Not relevant as no monitoring took place. Only monitoring and evaluation is carried on by SCLUWPA for its activities in earth dams' construction and terraces to speed water. Usually this takes places after and within the period of flooding in addition to sea wall, effectively these devices functioned and finally to trace the impact and the outcome.

There were no changes in the Technology as a result of monitoring and evaluation: as above. In purpose of to check what have done to do some amendments.

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?


Specify topics:
  • ecology

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • 2,000-10,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: international (Training, capacity building and assistance of equipment.): 30.0%; government (Technical staff, equipment and agricultural inputs.): 60.0%; local community / land user(s) (Volunteer man power): 10.0%

5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?


If yes, specify type(s) of support, conditions, and provider(s):

By Government either directly or from donor sources. SCLUWPA, Range and Pastures, UNDP and UNISCO supporting desertification.

5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

  • equipment
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
tools fully financed
  • agricultural
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
seeds fully financed
  • construction
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
stone partly financed partial community contribution
wood partly financed partial community contribution
If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • voluntary

see QT

Only machinery financed for construction period and maintenance.

Labour appears in all mentioned forms above. But voluntarely and food for work is most common.

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?


6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

They were able to make the land directly more productive because of the extra water. Furthermore it helped land users in raising their technical know how.

Did the Approach empower socially and economically disadvantaged groups?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Yes, as the whole community was economically disadvantaged

Did the Approach improve issues of land tenure/ user rights that hindered implementation of SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

no problems related to that issue of land rights and ownership and early can be recognized by tribal leadership. The problem is likely to be overcome in the near future. within the tribal system it can be solved any problems on land in cases of difficulties the leadership take decision to be used by all members.

Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Not relevant as it is a government driven system. The newly introduced technology is to improve before it can be adopted by other land users.

Did the Approach lead to improved livelihoods / human well-being?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Yes, because of extra food supply – though not as dramatic as with irrigation By using simple technology e.g. the hand tools and ohter manually applicable implements can be used easily by land users.

Did the Approach help to alleviate poverty?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

In terms of food security: but differs from season to season If support subsistence farmers to produce crop and animal herders to multiply animal numbers.

6.2 Main motivation of land users to implement SLM

  • increased production

The primary motivation

  • well-being and livelihoods improvement

Also very important

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • no
If no or uncertain, specify and comment:

The land users can continue to crop and to maintain structures within their ability, but no expansion would be possible or repairs to major breakages, unless the level of surplus production will be reached.

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
1) Improve the socioeconomic situation.

2) Learning and improve their technical capacity.

3) Raising the community awareness and preparedness.

4) Encourage peoples to be involved in collective action.

5) Enhance their capacity of community effective.
Management resources

(How to sustain/ enhance this strength: -Building and strengthening the establishment of the community institutions i.e. from VDCs to local Community Base Organization CBos national NGos.)
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
1/ Demand driven response to people’s needs.
2/ Reducing the direct in-field role of NGOs.
3/ Progress to create a national Ngo's.
4/ Building the community institution.
5/ Raising the self help and self reliance for sustainable management. (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: 1/ Continue to listen to the people
2/ By making sure the Government continues to play that role effectively
3/Increase funding .

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
1) Weak economic base at rural areas.

2) Weak community innovation and involvement.

3) Illiteracy and isolated and knowledge of others experiences

4) Low level of the technology used by the people.

5) Poverty and high vulnerability to natural disasters.

- to increase land productivity.
- to develop crop mixing strategy to include cash crops.
- enhance and encourage agroforestry approach.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
1/ Weak of funds.
2/ Weak of monitoring and evaluation.
3/ Low of documentation and knowledge sharing.
4) Lack of research involvement. It is better to say few or adequate research activity
1/ More support.
2/ Introduce a clear, simple system.
3/ International community need to make more efforts to assist with these aspects.
4/ Both Government and NGOs need to recognise the potential role of researchers

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all