Stablized Stone Faced Soil Bund [Ethiopia]

Kirit (Amharic)

technologies_1063 - Ethiopia

Completeness: 71%

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)

SLM specialist:

Abegaz Ayalew Yimer

Ambassel Woreda Agriculture and Rural Development Office


Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) - Ethiopia

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:


1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches (documented using WOCAT)

Local Level participatory planning approach (LLPPA)

Local Level participatory planning approach (LLPPA) [Ethiopia]

Participatory planning tools using various PRA techniques to enable the local community to identif their problem prioritize to sellect suitable measures & activities (planing, implementing & mgt of conservation based initiatives.

  • Compiler: Philippe Zahner

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Stablized bund constructed fron stone and soils on the farm land along the contour and planted with multipurposive plant species

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


The stablized bund is constructed on farm land in order to reduce slope length, angle and there by control soil erosion and enhance moisture/water retention capacity of siols. The bund is established along the contour by digging trench/foundation and place stone walls on the excavated trench. It is stablized by planting grass. The structure is regularly maintained by repairing breaks. Some farmers put on additional height to the bunds as part of the upgrading practice. The technology is suitable to all agroecological conditions, where stones are available for construction.

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



Region/ State/ Province:


Further specification of location:


Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 10-100 km2

Since the implementation of this technology flooding problem has reduced with additional benefit of protecting roads. Communies benefited from ffw payments and activities, production of farm land improved (both crop & fodder)

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • more than 50 years ago (traditional)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

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

It is locally known but with improved techniques. Stone walls are used in the area for making barriers for runoff.

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation

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

Land use mixed within the same land unit:


Specify mixed land use (crops/ grazing/ trees):
  • Agroforestry



  • Annual cropping
  • Tree and shrub cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • cereals - barley
  • cereals - maize
  • cereals - sorghum
  • legumes and pulses - beans
  • legumes and pulses - peas
  • wheat, teff
Tree and shrub cropping - Specify crops:
  • fodder trees (Calliandra, Leucaena leucocephala, Prosopis, etc.)
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 2

Longest growing period in days: 24 0Longest growing period from month to month: May - Dec Second longest growing period in days: 150 Second longest growing period from month to month: Feb - Jun


Major food crop annual cropping: Sorghum, maize, teff, wheat, barley, beans, peas
Trees/ shrubs species: pigeon pea, sesbania sesban, treelucern (Fabaceae)

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Soil erosion, overgrazing, deforestation, encrochment of one type of landuse over the other (competetion between landuse types)

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): declining production, shallow soil depth, infestation of weeds (exotic)

Type of cropping system and major crops comments: Sorghum-teff, maize-beans, teff-check peas, wheat/barley-legumes

3.4 Water supply

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

Water supply: Also mixed rainfed - irrigated

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • cross-slope measure

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
  • Wg: gully erosion/ gullying
  • Wm: mass movements/ landslides
chemical soil deterioration

chemical soil deterioration

  • Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content (not caused by erosion)

Main type of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wg: gully erosion / gullying, Wm: mass movements / landslides, Cn: fertility decline and reduced organic matter content

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

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

Secondary goals: prevention of land degradation, rehabilitation / reclamation of denuded land

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):


Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate

Main technical functions: reduction of slope angle, reduction of slope length

Secondary technical functions: control of dispersed runoff: retain / trap, control of dispersed runoff: impede / retard, increase of infiltration, increase / maintain water stored in soil, water harvesting / increase water supply

Aligned: -contour
Vertical interval between rows / strips / blocks (m): 1m
Spacing between rows / strips / blocks (m): 10m
Vertical interval within rows / strips / blocks (m): 0.25-0.5m

Trees/ shrubs species: pigeon pea, sesbania sesban, treelucern

Bund/ bank: level
Vertical interval between structures (m): 1m
Spacing between structures (m): 10m
Depth of ditches/pits/dams (m): 0.5m
Width of ditches/pits/dams (m): 0.5m
Length of ditches/pits/dams (m): 166m
Height of bunds/banks/others (m): 0.7m
Width of bunds/banks/others (m): 0.5-1.20m
Length of bunds/banks/others (m): 170m

Construction material (earth): dig earth and form an embankment

Construction material (stone): place stone wall at downslope side to support earth embankment

Slope (which determines the spacing indicated above): 12%

If the original slope has changed as a result of the Technology, the slope today is: 0%

Lateral gradient along the structure: 0%

Vegetation is used for stabilisation of structures.

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

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:


4.3 Establishment activities

Activity Timing (season)
1. contour tillage uly/during crop sowing
2. contour planting July/during crop sowing
3. collection of stones dry season/off-season
4. layout and design dry season/off-season
5. excavation of foundation & trenches dry season/off-season
6. forming of embankment dry season/off-season
7. compaction dry season/off-season
8. sow/plant tree/grass species onset 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 Labour ha 1.0 170.0 170.0
Labour Weeding ha 1.0 47.0 47.0 100.0
Labour Harvesting ha 1.0 23.0 23.0 100.0
Equipment Animal traction ha 1.0 35.0 35.0 100.0
Equipment Tools ha 1.0 720.0 720.0
Plant material Seeds ha 1.0 7.0 7.0
Plant material Seedlings ha 1.0 23.0 23.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Fertilizer ha 1.0 54.0 54.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 1079.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 125.47

Duration of establishment phase: 12 month(s)

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. contour farming before rain & onset of rain / 3 times/year
2. removing of silt from the trench off season/once per year
3. maintain broken part of the bund off season/once per year
4. replanting on set of rain/once per year

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 Labour ha 1.0 17.0 17.0 100.0
Equipment Tools ha 1.0 72.0 72.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 89.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 10.35

Machinery/ tools: shovel, spade, hoe, line level

Length of structure per hectare of land treated with SWC activities

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

The cost of the technology is affected by slope, soil workability, availability of labour

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
Agro-climatic zone
  • sub-humid
  • semi-arid

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.
Comments and further specifications on topography:

Altitudinal zone: Also 1501-2000 m a.s.l. (ranked 2) and 1001-1500 and 2501-3000 m a.s.l. (ranked 3)
Landforms: Also plateau/plains and hill slopes (both ranked 2) and ridges and foot slopes (both ranked 3)

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):
  • coarse/ light (sandy)
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)
  • low (<1%)
If available, attach full soil description or specify the available information, e.g. soil type, soil PH/ acidity, Cation Exchange Capacity, nitrogen, salinity etc.

Soil depth on average: Also moderately deep and deep (both ranked 2) and very shallow and very deep (both ranked 3)
Soil fertility: Low (ranked 1, on hilly areas), medium (ranked 2), very low and high (both ranked 3)
Soil drainage/infiltration: Good (ranked 1, on hilly and steep slopes), medium (ranked 2) and poor (ranked 3)
Soil water storage capacity: High (ranked 1), medium (ranked 2) and low (ranked 3)

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
  • rich
Level of mechanization:
  • manual work
  • animal traction
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Population density: 50-100 persons/km2
Annual population growth: 2% - 3%
5% of the land users are rich and own 10% of the land.
35% of the land users are average wealthy and own 50% of the land.
60% of the land users are poor and own 40% of the land.

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

Due to population pressure and land degradation

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

Land ownership:
  • state

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production


fodder quality


animal production


wood production

Income and costs

farm income


Socio-cultural impacts

community institutions


national institutions


SLM/ land degradation knowledge


Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

surface runoff

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:



soil moisture

Comments/ specify:

because of increasing in soil depth it helps to retain moisture.

soil loss

Quantity before SLM:


Quantity after SLM:


Comments/ specify:

soil depth increased/maintained, decrease slope

Other ecological impacts

Soil fertility




6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

reliable and stable stream flows in dry season

Comments/ specify:

increase percolation of rain water

downstream flooding

Comments/ specify:

roads, reserviores, farmlands

downstream siltation


6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:


Long-term returns:


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


Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology


100% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

20730 land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support

Comments on acceptance with external material support: estimates

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
reduce soil loss, improve soil moisture

How can they be sustained / enhanced? continuous awarness creation about the technology and its benefit and the required frequent supervision
increase feed and fodder, promote cut and carry system

How can they be sustained / enhanced? provision of suitable feed/forage plant species, collection and distribution of seeds

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?
loss of land due to land occupation Increase/improve productivity of fodder trees on bunds and improve farm land production to compensate
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
space between bunds is narrow for oxen plough proper spacing to be designed/adopted
harbour pests proper management and availing pesticides

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

Links and modules

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