Fish pond construction on slope area on clayey subsoil for water harvesting [Lao People's Democratic Republic]

technologies_2920 - Lao People's Democratic Republic

Completeness: 86%

1. General information

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

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Amdang nep

Lao People's Democratic Republic

land user:

Amdo Kousoai

Lao People's Democratic Republic

{'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 6, 'label': 'Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Scaling-up SLM practices by smallholder farmers (IFAD)', 'template': 'raw'} {'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 6128, 'label': 'Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': "National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) - Lao People's Democratic Republic", 'template': 'raw'}

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

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


1.4 Declaration on sustainability of the described Technology

Is the Technology described here problematic with regard to land degradation, so that it cannot be declared a sustainable land management technology?



Turn the land in slope area that spring water flow through to the ponds water harvesting and reduces leaching on soil surface

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

The methods for construction of earthen pond on slope area in adjacent to the village where it forms perennial water channels with clay soil which is unsuitable for other agricultural purposes. Therefore, Oxfam encouraged the construction of communal pond to create the interest for many households to build their own ponds.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


With the slope mountainous area, the top soil's soil nutrients and organisms are leached by heavy rain during wet season (July-November). This land was mainly used for Bong tree plantation (Nothaphoebe umbelliflora) and a variety of fruit trees; however, farmers have to wait for many years to be able to get small harvest from these trees. In 2004, an Oxfam Project promoted and encouraged local community to construct a communal mud-pond with a size of 50 x 40 m on steep terrains near the village. The project utilized the water resource potential by digging a pond for the villager's use as year round gravity fed water supply system. The project initially provided fish fingerlings (tilapia, silver barb: scientific name is Barbonymus gonionotus, and grass carp: scientific name is Ctenopharyngodon idella). The village residents realized immediately the significant benefits of the pond. Besides raising fishes in the pond, local people could use water for household gardening and as a source of drinking water for livestock (cow, water buffalo, pig, duck, etc). The pond is easy to manage and maintain whilst it is also more convenient to collect aquatic resources in proximity to the village. Typically, the potential site condition for pond construction is steep mountainous terrain with average slope of 10 -15 degrees. The soil property should be clay or silt clay which can hold the water.
Later after the community pond has been constructed some villagers who had potential land left constructed their individual ponds to improve their own production. This because they have seen the benefit of communal pond which can provide approximately 200 - 300 kg of fish per years. The individual pond construction reduced finally also conflicts caused by different issues of the community pond.
The construction of the pond is not very complicated. First, the water valves from GFS (provided by the Poverty Reduction Fund) turned off the sources water from the upstream area. Bush clearing, tree felling, stump removal and vegetation stockpiling (for burning) was then required on construction areaof the pond The pond size should be designed at a size of approx. 30 x 20m. Next step, the manual excavation works (by using hoes and shovels) should ba undertaken at upper section of the canal. The ground has to be excavated with an average depth between 0.5 – 1m and with the excavated soil pond dyke has to be alligned arround the pond area (square shape). The dykes soil has to be compressed to very compact barriers to prevent water leaking and dyke erosion (even small holes in dyke can rapidly enlarge, leading to the potential future damages and dyke bursting). The pond dyke’s height is 1.2m in hight and 2m wide with dyke slopes from the foot to the edge (where it also provides a walkway for feeding fishes or gardening) is approximately 45%. The design of the thick dyke is to ensure its stability from soil erosion as a result from a certain fish species that pierces the dyke slopes and rapid water flow. If the pond dyke is designed with fewer slopes, it will be susceptible to soil erosion. At least a drainage outlet is required with a P100 pipe for 4m long. The pipe should be installed with 1m height from the pond bottom at the outlet. This pipe will drain water and prevent overflow that may cause damage to the dyke. The pond area later need to be leveled by using hoes and shovels cut the undulating area. Then should be kept the pond bottom dry for at least one week to allow time for pond repair as well as to increase the production of the pond bottom, after that fill the water into the pond by turn on the inlet valves that have been turn off earlier. This pond construction method may require intensive labors and extensive time to complete. Funding for construction tools and construction method are still insufficient. However, this is the effective way to maximize water from perennial stream for integrated management and its benefits are considerable especially for fish consumption in household and selling for generate household income.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment


Lao People's Democratic Republic

Region/ State/ Province:

Samoaui district, Salavan province

Further specification of location:

Tangko village

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • applied at specific points/ concentrated on a small area

2.6 Date of implementation

Indicate year of implementation:


If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through projects/ external interventions
Comments (type of project, etc.):

Through an Oxfarm project encouragement

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • create beneficial social impact
  • reduce conflicts

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Waterways, waterbodies, wetlands

Waterways, waterbodies, wetlands

  • Ponds, dams
Main products/ services:

Fish raising

Unproductive land

Unproductive land


the type of soil in that area are silt and heavy clay so water can not penetrate into the soil


Number of growing seasons per year: 1
Livestock density: 2 pigs, 2 goat, 10 Poultry

3.3 Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?

Has land use changed due to the implementation of the Technology?
  • Yes (Please fill out the questions below with regard to the land use before implementation of the Technology)

Before the application of the Technology the area was covered by several types of vegetation, and also by fruit trees of very low yield. It has taken a long period until the first harvest was possible. This compared to the short term benefits of fish raising.

3.4 Water supply

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • cross-slope measure
  • water harvesting

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

structural measures

structural measures

  • S1: Terraces
  • S5: Dams, pans, ponds
  • S7: Water harvesting/ supply/ irrigation equipment
management measures

management measures

  • M1: Change of land use type

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying
biological degradation

biological degradation

  • Bc: reduction of vegetation cover

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • adapt to land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

{'additional_translations': {}, 'content_type': 'image/png', 'preview_image': '/media/58/4/584ea962-edd8-452e-a23d-4f6c27d41c6a.jpg', 'key': 'Technical drawing', 'value': '/media/ec/9/ec9e6f74-eba0-408c-ad6f-408f54a94963.png', 'template': 'raw'}
Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

Generally pond construction in the village are the same structure because they relay on community's pond such oxfarm was excavated for them but smaller.
the area of community's pond is 50 x 30 m
the area of individual pond is 30 x 15 m
height of the pond dyke is 120 m, width 2m
depth of the water is 1m
Slope angle before 10-16% and after 3-5 % the implementation of the Technology
Construction material used include: hoe and shovel use for digging the soil to make the pond dykes or leveling the pond bottom. Inlet tube length 80m from water sources to the ponds and outlet by using concrete pipe p100 to prevent flooding.
Capacity of pond approximate 450 m3. Potential of pond is for water harvesting and reduce severe water runoff on the surface.
beneficial area of ponds is can produce fish and another living aquatic resources for self consumption.
Fish species used is Tilapia, common carp, grass carp, silver barb.


Phonesyri Phanvongsa



4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify how costs and inputs were calculated:
  • per Technology unit
Specify unit:

individual fish pond

Specify dimensions of unit (if relevant):

30 X 15 meters

other/ national currency (specify):


If relevant, indicate exchange rate from USD to local currency (e.g. 1 USD = 79.9 Brazilian Real): 1 USD =:


Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

35000 kip

4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. weeding and cleaning the area before onset of rain, January - Mach
2. Burning the vegetation before onset of rain
3. Making pond dyke and add outlet pipe before onset of rain
4. Fill the water into the pond beginning of rain

4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour labor for digging an individual fish pond (for individual fish pond ) person-day 180.0 35000.0 6300000.0 100.0
Equipment hoe piece 4.0 50000.0 200000.0 100.0
Equipment shovel piece 5.0 30000.0 150000.0 100.0
Equipment knife piece 2.0 30000.0 60000.0 100.0
Construction material pipe m 80.0 15000.0 1200000.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 7910000.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 941.67

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. Drainage After harvesting, the end of rainy season
2. Clean the pond bottom After drainage
3. Repair the pond dyke Before on set of rain
4. Refill the pond

4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Specify input Unit Quantity Costs per Unit Total costs per input % of costs borne by land users
Labour labor for drainage person-day 1.0 35000.0 35000.0 100.0
Labour clean the pond bottom person-day 2.0 35000.0 70000.0 100.0
Labour labor for repair pond dyke person-day 3.0 35000.0 105000.0 100.0
Labour refill the pond person-day 1.0 35000.0 35000.0 100.0
Equipment hoe piece 2.0 50000.0 100000.0 100.0
Equipment shovel piece 2.0 30000.0 60000.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 405000.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 48.21
If land user bore less than 100% of costs, indicate who covered the remaining costs:

ທືນຜູ້ນຳໃຊ້ທີ່ດິນ 100%

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Most important factors is labor for digging the pond

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Specify average annual rainfall (if known), in mm:


Specifications/ comments on rainfall:

Rainy season from May to November, highest rainfall between July to October. dry season from December to March April (rainfall)

Indicate the name of the reference meteorological station considered:

Samoaui Meteorological station

Agro-climatic zone
  • humid

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.
Indicate if the Technology is specifically applied in:
  • convex situations

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • fine/ heavy (clay)
Soil texture (> 20 cm below surface):
  • fine/ heavy (clay)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

< 5 m

Availability of surface water:


Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

Is water salinity a problem?


Is flooding of the area occurring?


5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • medium
Habitat diversity:
  • medium

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Sedentary or nomadic:
  • Sedentary
Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • men
Age of land users:
  • youth
  • middle-aged

5.7 Average area of land used by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • small-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • communal/ village
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • individual
Water use rights:
  • communal (organized)

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
drinking water and sanitation:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production

Quantity before SLM:

20 kg

Quantity after SLM:

5 kg

Comments/ specify:

Loss of land for crop cultivation because the villagers turned the crop land to pond area

animal production

Quantity before SLM:

200 kg

Quantity after SLM:

300 kg

Comments/ specify:

Increase in aquatic product"bag" and decrease of hunting "bag"

production area

Quantity before SLM:

3 vegetable plots

Quantity after SLM:

2 vegetable plots

Comments/ specify:

because they moved crop their crop cultivation to an other, smaller area

Water availability and quality

water availability for livestock

Comments/ specify:

Previously the animal must to go to the river or stream to drink water after ponds has been constructed there is water available for animals in the ponds

Income and costs


Comments/ specify:

Decreasing in the workload for land user as he does not have to go fishing in the stream far away from the village

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

Comments/ specify:

Improved fish production and could contribute fish for home consumption for whole year

land use/ water rights

Comments/ specify:

Improved land use right for fish pond as individual households have their own fish pond

community institutions

Comments/ specify:

The village head did not supported the management of community pond (this caused fish depletion). Later, after the individual ponds have been constructed the village head steered the organization of maintenance work on the community pond. This allowed e.g. fishing during village festivals there. Individual ponds are maintained always by the owners themselves.

conflict mitigation

Comments/ specify:

Improved and reduced the conflict with neighbors regarding fishing as they conduct now their own fish ponds.

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

harvesting/ collection of water

Comments/ specify:

Improved water runoff by construction of fish pond

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

animal diversity

Comments/ specify:

Increase in aquatic animals regarding both quantity and species such as crab, snail and the land user can have exotic species of fish (Tilapia, common cap).

habitat diversity

Comments/ specify:

Decreased of vegetation on soil surface

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream siltation

Comments/ specify:

Reduced surface runoff by heavy rain

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season increase or decrease How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase moderately
seasonal temperature wet/ rainy season decrease well
seasonal temperature dry season increase very well
annual rainfall increase well
seasonal rainfall wet/ rainy season increase well
seasonal rainfall dry season decrease not well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm moderately
local hailstorm moderately
local windstorm moderately
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
cold wave not well
drought not well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
flash flood not well
landslide moderately
Biological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
epidemic diseases moderately

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period moderately

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
{'template': 'raw', 'additional_translations': {}, 'key': 'Short-term returns', 'values': ['negative']}
Long-term returns:

neutral/ balanced

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

slightly negative

Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology

  • 11-50%
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

5 households in Tangko village have their own private fish pond and some of them are taking the initiative to increase the number of individual fish pond where possible.

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 51-90%

6.6 Adaptation

Has the Technology been modified recently to adapt to changing conditions?


other (specify):

Conflict mitigation

Specify adaptation of the Technology (design, material/ species, etc.):

At the beginning in 2004 only a community pond has been constructed. Later villagers started to construct also individual ponds to mitigate social tensions caused by weak coordination of maintenance work concerned with this community pond.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
As the individual fish ponds are located close to the house it is easily for the land users to go fishing and maintain whenever they want. This serves time.
All year round availability of water
Increased in food and nutrition security for household members
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The villagers will be able to produce fish also for the next generation

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
Onset of heavy rain can damage the pond dykes and leading to erosion
Floods in rainy season Use bigger pipe for outlet
The technology is labour intensive regarding repair of the dykes Use concrete dyke to make the dyke stronger
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
The land user have not real experience and knowledge on pond construction (with regard to flash floods) Organize training course on pond construction
The pond owner have no experience and knowledge on fish propagation. But not being able to propagate fish properly by themselves may increase their expenses in agriculture needlessly. Organize training course to get fish breeding and propagation expertise

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys

1 time

  • interviews with land users

2 persons

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all