Technologies

Terracing in Watershed [Afghanistan]

Kordak dar Abriza

technologies_1732 - Afghanistan

Completeness: 80%

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:
SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Fuleki Blanka

Helvetas

Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
HELVETAS (Swiss Intercooperation)

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

19/04/2016

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

Yes

1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches

Resilient Watershed Management Plan
approaches

Resilient Watershed Management Plan [Tajikistan]

The participatory watershed management plan (WMP) is an interdisciplinary approach at community level to raise awareness on the watershed management concept and improve understanding of the watershed approach in planning and management of natural resource.

  • Compiler: Askarsho Zevarshoev

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Reshaping unproductive land into a series of levelled, gently-sloping platforms creates conditions suitable for cultivation and prevents accelerated erosion.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

The terracing in watershed fact-sheet is documented by Sustainable Land Management Project/HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation which is funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Due to the enduring conflict and to the breakdown of common-pool resources management in upper catchments areas over the past decades, most pastures in Afghanistan are degraded.
Uncontrolled grazing of animals tilling grazing land to grow cereal crops are the main contributors to the loss of vegetation coverage in the upper catchments. One of the negative consequences is repeated flash floods each year causing loss and damage of agriculture lands, gardens, road, canal, infrastructure, houses and even lives. To decrease the severity of flash floods and extend vegetation in upper catchment areas, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in Saighan district has established watershed activities.

Purpose of the Technology: Terrace construction was identified as an effective measure in degraded watershed areas to:
• control runoff and decrease flash flood;
• increase water infiltration;
• create the opportunity for income from cultivation of valuable crops in the terraces.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: Having selected the watersheds and established watershed committees, watershed master plans were prepared and various structural and agronomical measures identified and estimated for each unit of land. Community laborers, trained by HELVETAS technical staff, constructed the terraces under supervision of watershed committee members. 600 terraces, each measuring 10 m x 3.6 m were constructed on seven hectares of land. To ensure maintenance, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation facilitated the creation of community saving systems and invested 10% of the project budget for maintenance of each watershed. It improved the capacity of watershed members, so after ending project support the community watershed committee would be able to manage maintenance of watershed measures.


Natural / human environment: Bamyan province is a remote province of Afghanistan with a high poverty rate. It has a semi-arid climate with cold winters and hot and dry summers. During winter, temperatures can drop below -22 degrees. Summer temperatures can reach 34 degrees in the month of July. The average annual rainfall in the area is about 230mm and some years can be very dry. 90% of the population relies on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods and off-farm activities are marginal. The soil texture is clay, sandy loam and clay loam with moderate type of soil fertility, naked area of upper catchments causes that most of Saighan villages face to water scarcity during May to September and can’t grow valuable crops.The growing season in Saighan district is relatively short from April to October and farmers can produce only one crop per year. Farmers with access to irrigation water cultivate cash crops, for example potato and vegetables, in addition to staple crops (wheat) and fodder crops.Those without access to irrigation water cultivate wheat and fodder crops only. Water scarcity during May to September may result in a lack of high value crops.
The average annual income from one hectare in the area of having enough irrigation water is 250000 AFN (3676 USD) and in the area which has no enough irrigation water is 67500 AFN (992 USD).

2.3 Photos of the Technology

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

Country:

Afghanistan

Region/ State/ Province:

Bamyan

Further specification of location:

Saighan

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • less than 10 years ago (recently)

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

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

Since 2010

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • reduce risk of disasters

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

Grazing land

Grazing land

Extensive grazing land:
  • Nomadism
Comments:

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Harvest of shrubs and over grazing for over 20 years resulted in the lost vegetation cover. Top soil erosion is severe and gullies are visible.

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Due to the lack of alternatives for fuel and lack of opportunities for income during decades war, people were compelled to use the natural resources in the upper catchment areas.

Future (final) land use (after implementation of SLM Technology): Cropland: Cp: Perennial (non-woody) cropping

If land use has changed due to the implementation of the Technology, indicate land use before implementation of the Technology:

Grazing land: Ge: Extensive grazing land

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • rainfed
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1
Specify:

Longest growing period in days: 120; Longest growing period from month to month: March to July

Livestock density (if relevant):

10-25 LU /km2

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • cross-slope measure

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Specify the spread of the Technology:
  • evenly spread over an area
If the Technology is evenly spread over an area, indicate approximate area covered:
  • 1-10 km2

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

structural measures

structural measures

  • S1: Terraces

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
Comments:

Main causes of degradation: crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub) (Shrub cutting), overgrazing (Over grazing and no management), droughts (3 years drought), population pressure, war and conflicts (3 decades of civil war)

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • restore/ rehabilitate severely degraded land
Comments:

Secondary goals: prevention of land degradation, mitigation / reduction of land degradation

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Author:

Shabir Shahem, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Afghanistan

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

Technical drawing of a terrace built in the watershed for the mean of vegetation.
Almost all the terraces constructed on the hill sides has 10 m length, 3.5 m width and 1.5 m depth.

Location: Saighan. Bamyan

Date: 19/04/2016

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: high (In order to design well)

Technical knowledge required for land users: low

Main technical functions: control of dispersed runoff: impede / retard, reduction of slope angle, reduction of slope length, improvement of topsoil structure (compaction), increase of infiltration, increase / maintain water stored in soil, promotion of vegetation species and varieties (quality, eg palatable fodder)

Terrace: forward sloping
Vertical interval between structures (m): 1.8
Spacing between structures (m): 0.5
Depth of ditches/pits/dams (m): 0.3
Width of ditches/pits/dams (m): 3.6
Length of ditches/pits/dams (m): 10

Construction material (earth): Excuvation of soil and leveling

Slope (which determines the spacing indicated above): 15-30%

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

Lateral gradient along the structure: 0%

Specification of dams/ pans/ ponds: Capacity 36m3

Catchment area: 36m2

4.3 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

Specify currency used for cost calculations:
  • US Dollars
Indicate average wage cost of hired labour per day:

5.88

4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Labor cost for the construction of the terraces Structural 1 month

4.5 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 cost for the construction of the terraces persons/day 1200.0 5.88 7056.0 10.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 7056.0

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. Repairing of few terraces after heavy rain falls Structural 3 times a year

4.7 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 Repairing of few terraces persons/day 6.0 5.833333 35.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 35.0

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

Labor cost is the determinate factors which was affecting the costs.

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
  • semi-arid

Thermal climate class: temperate

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%)
Landforms:
  • 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.

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):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)
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 fertility is low

Soil drainage / infiltration is medium

Soil water storage capacity is medium

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

5-50 m

Availability of surface water:

poor/ none

Water quality (untreated):

for agricultural use only (irrigation)

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • low

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Individuals or groups:
  • groups/ community
Gender:
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users

Difference in the involvement of women and men: The culture doesn't allowed women to work as labor for construction works

Population density: 10-50 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 0.5% - 1%

Relative level of wealth: rich, average, poor

10% of the land users are rich (Households who have land and livestock).
35% of the land users are average wealthy (Households who have land only).
45% of the land users are poor (Howseholds who have less or not land).

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased 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)?
  • large-scale

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

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

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

health:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
education:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
employment (e.g. off-farm):
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
markets:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
energy:
  • 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

Production

crop production

decreased
increased
Quantity before SLM:

60

Quantity after SLM:

80

Comments/ specify:

Technology reduce flood and lower lands doesnt effect by floods

Water availability and quality

irrigation water availability

decreased
increased
Quantity before SLM:

20

Quantity after SLM:

25

Comments/ specify:

Increasing under ground water by applying technology

Income and costs

farm income

decreased
increased
Quantity before SLM:

0

Quantity after SLM:

50

Comments/ specify:

Cultivation of cash crop in the terraces (farm income from uplands)

Socio-cultural impacts

food security/ self-sufficiency

reduced
improved

SLM/ land degradation knowledge

reduced
improved

conflict mitigation

worsened
improved

situation of socially and economically disadvantaged groups

worsened
improved

livelihood and human well-being

reduced
improved
Comments/ specify:

The technology has effective role on reducing flash flood and as well through cultivation of valuable crops the community get more income from watershed area

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

harvesting/ collection of water

reduced
improved

surface runoff

increased
decreased
Quantity before SLM:

0

Quantity after SLM:

100

Comments/ specify:

Leveled terraces infilter the water

groundwater table/ aquifer

lowered
recharge
Soil

soil moisture

decreased
increased
Quantity before SLM:

0

Quantity after SLM:

50

Comments/ specify:

Technology let the water infilteration more

soil cover

reduced
improved

soil loss

increased
decreased

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

water availability

decreased
increased

downstream flooding

increased
reduced
Quantity before SLM:

0

Quantity after SLM:

50

Comments/ specify:

Control runoff

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 Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase well

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm not well
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought well
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not well
Comments:

The annual rainfall should be considered according to the slope of the area while designing terrace.

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

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

slightly positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

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

very positive

Long-term returns:

very positive

Comments:

The establishment cost of this technology seems to be high but once they are built they need very less maintenance cost with lots of benefits in the other hand.

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

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

444 households covering 100 percent of the stated area

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many have did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 0-10%
Comments:

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

There is no trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

Comments on adoption trend: Construction of terraces in the watershed requires lots of investment costs.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Good measure that is easy to be applied by the people.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Conducting training and workshops for capacity building of the community members.
The application of this technology results to the control of runoff and reduction of the flash flood.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? More vegetative measures should be considered.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
A good technology for the better control of runoff and keeping the moisture.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Cultivation and sustainable maintenance of the plants in the terraces.
Preparing and providing a good and proper place for cultivation and plantation.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Plantation of the local plants which has more resistance and are adaptable to the natural environment of Saighan district.
Getting more income through cultivation of valuable crops.

How can they be sustained / enhanced? Protection of cultivated seed from grazing animals

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

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Requires high investment and financial cost. People should as well have contribution in the cost by providing the labor work.
In case the technical measures are not considered and applied properly it may increase infiltration and subsequently increases the soil moisture which may trigger landslide on slopes during rainfalls High level of the technical staff and knowledge to be considered and as well the area should be studied and observed deeply.

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