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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)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)CDE Centre for Development and Environment (CDE Centre for Development and Environment) - Switzerland
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:
2. Description of the SLM Technology
2.1 Short description of the Technology
Definition of the Technology:
A hillside terrace is a structure along the contour, where a strip of land is levelled for tree planting.
2.2 Detailed description of the Technology
Hillside terraces are up to 1 metre wide and constructed at about 2-5 m vertical inteals. Hillside terraces should only be applied if there is a strong necessity of erosion control and/or water conservation justifying their construction. In Ethiopia and Eritrea, they have been mainly applied in the highlands, although the area of their applicability would be rather in the drier and lower lying agroclimatic zones. Slope range is 50-100%, soil range particularly on eavily degraded land. Hillside terraces are mainly used to prevent damage of flooding the area below steep slopes.
Hillside terraces help retain runoff and sediment on steep sloping land and to accommodate tree seedlings to be planted on them. They are also effective on badlands and in areas with low rainfall to conserve water. Hillside terraces are usually combined with area closure (against grazing). Little materials are needed for their construction: Line levels, digging instruments, stones, and other materials as needed for combined measures. Little management is needed for their maintenance, except for taking care of the tees planted, and for correcting damage that may be caused by livestock grazing.
2.3 Photos of the Technology
2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment
Region/ State/ Province:
Harerge, Shewa, Wello, Tigray, Gonder, Sidamo, and Hamasien (Eritrea)
Specify the spread of the Technology:
- evenly spread over an area
If precise area is not known, indicate approximate area covered:
- 1,000-10,000 km2
Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 1800 km2.
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.):
Originated from engineering handbooks and Indian experience. Has been applied in Eritrea & Ethiopia since ~1978
3. Classification of the SLM Technology
3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied
- Tree and shrub cropping
- Eucalyptus, Cupressus, Juniperus
Products and services:
- Other forest products
- Grazing/ browsing
- Nature conservation/ protection
Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): High run-on from steep slopes onto cultivated land. Sheet and rill erosion from slopes, and subsequent gullying on cultivated land along footslopes. Lack of grass and woody biomass.
Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Lack of grazing for livestock. Lack of cultivation land. General food deficiency.
Grazingland comments: Insuffient land at curent population density and low productive farming systems.
Problems / comments regarding forest use: Almost the natural forest is not exist. Low growing condition.
Type of grazing system comments: Insuffient land at curent population density and low productive farming systems.
Constraints of wilderness: these are mainly badlands which are totally degraded
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)
Intensive grazing/ fodder production:
- Cut-and-carry/ zero grazing
3.4 Water supply
Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
Water supply: Also full irrigation
3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs
- cross-slope measure
3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology
- S1: Terraces
Main measures: structural measures
3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology
soil erosion by water
- Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
- Wg: gully erosion/ gullying
Main type of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion
Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wg: gully erosion / gullying
4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs
4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology
Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):
Hillside terrace cross-section. Linied out along the contour, vertical interval between two terraces 2-5 m. (In: Soil Conservation in Ethiopia. CFSCDD, 1986)
Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate
Technical knowledge required for land users: low
Main technical functions: reduction of slope angle, increase of infiltration, water harvesting / increase water supply
Secondary technical functions: reduction of slope length, improvement of ground cover, increase of surface roughness, increase / maintain water stored in soil
Trees/ shrubs species: Eucalyptus, Cupressus, Juniperus
Construction material (stone): Cut and fill with stone wall in front
Lateral gradient along the structure: 0%
For water harvesting: the ratio between the area where the harvested water is applied and the total area from which water is collected is: 1:10
Change of land use type: closed area
Other type of management: livestock management - prevention of grazing, cut and ary system
Joerg Wetzel, SCRP
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
|1.||Transplanting||beginning of rainy season|
|4.||Planting||beginning of rainy season|
|5.||Community guarding of closed areas||annual|
4.4 Costs and inputs needed for establishment
Duration of establishment phase: 12 month(s)
4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities
|1.||Weeding||rainy season /each cropping season|
|2.||Control of grazing||always/annual|
|3.||Care taking of seedlings||rainy season/each cropping season|
|4.||communty guarding of closed areas||continuos / annual|
4.6 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)
Length of structure on an average slope
4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs
Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:
Slope, soil condition, length of terrace per hectare.
5. Natural and human environment
- < 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
Specifications/ comments on rainfall:
Annual rainfall: Also 1000-1500 mm
Semi arid: Too little rainfall
Slopes on average:
- flat (0-2%)
- gentle (3-5%)
- moderate (6-10%)
- rolling (11-15%)
- hilly (16-30%)
- steep (31-60%)
- very steep (>60%)
- mountain slopes
- hill slopes
- valley floors
- 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:
Slopes on average: Everything below 16 % is to genly sloping to be useful
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%)
5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology
- less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
- very poor
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 very rich and own 10% of the land.
5% of the land users are rich and own 40% of the land.
20% of the land users are average wealthy and own 30% of the land.
60% of the land users are poor and own 10% of the land.
10% of the land users are poor and own 10% of the land.
Off-farm income specification: Labour offered to projects.
5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights
Land use rights:
- communal (organized)
6. Impacts and concluding statements
6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown
Water cycle/ runoff
Quantity before SLM:
Quantity after SLM:
Quantity before SLM:
Quantity after SLM:
6.4 Cost-benefit analysis
How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
6.5 Adoption of the Technology
If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):
Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
80% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support
30000 land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support
Comments on acceptance with external material support: estimates
2% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support
600 land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support
Comments on spontaneous adoption: estimates
There is a little trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology
Comments on adoption trend: Very recently, some villages have begun to see the value of hillside terracing, afforestations and area closure if they are given full responsibility to manage the area by a group of land users.
7. References and links
7.1 Methods/ sources of information
7.2 References to available publications
Title, author, year, ISBN:
Hurni H. : Soil Conservation in Ethiopia. Guidelines for Development Agents.. 1986.
Available from where? Costs?
SCRP Addis Abeba