Integrated runoff water management [Uganda]

technologies_1749 - Uganda

Completeness: 69%

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:
{'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 'Alex Lwakuba', 'user_id': '44', 'unknown_user': False, 'template': 'raw'}
SLM specialist:

Erabu John

MMAIF, DEPT of Agriculture


{'additional_translations': {}, 'value': 1128, 'label': 'Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)', 'text': 'Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries of Uganda (MAAIF) - Uganda', '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:


2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

This is a system of integrated runoff water and drainage management that allows cultivation in a swampy valley bottom.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology


Setting up the infrastructure involves dividing the land in the valley into raised beds of ±10 m x 20 m which are separated by furrows, acting as drainage channels. Below the furrows is a pond. These furrows, however, can also fulfil the opposite role – distributing runoff water from upslope in the valley bottom if required. A diversion channel has been constructed to guide runoff from a track towards the valley. The channel is 0.5 m deep, 1 m wide, over 100 m in length and with a gradient of 0.5% - 1.0%. It is estimated that the ratio of catchment to cultivated area is 10:1. The channel is left open to divert runoff in times of shortage (though, naturally, as with any rainwater harvesting system, there has to be rain locally before it can be harvested). This water then can be held by the furrows whose outlet can be blocked. Citrus fruits (oranges) and mangoes are planted on the beds, and intercropped with annuals.

Purpose of the Technology: The purpose is production of cash crops, based on reclamation of land and control of concentrated runoff. The impact is achieved through a flexible method
of drainage/water harvesting, which helps ensure suitable moisture conditions for growth.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: The main maintenance aspect is clearing inlets, channels and removing vegetation, using common household hand tools such as spades and hoes.

Natural / human environment: The technology is situated in a valley near a swamp. It consists of growing both annual and perennial crops throught the year. The farm is located in a semi-arid area. The soil is sandy loam and shallow.

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:


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:
  • 1-10 km2

Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 5 km2.

the area under the technology reported covers farmers in one parish which approximates 5 km2

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.):

an adoption from another district by the landuser but with a lot of modifications and technology

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.1 Main purpose(s) of the Technology

  • improve production
  • reduce, prevent, restore land degradation
  • adapt to climate change/ extremes and its impacts

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
  • Perennial (non-woody) cropping
  • Tree and shrub cropping
Annual cropping - Specify crops:
  • cereals - rice (upland)
  • cereals - sorghum
  • root/tuber crops - cassava
  • vegetables - root vegetables (carrots, onions, beet, other)
Tree and shrub cropping - Specify crops:
  • citrus
  • fodder trees (Calliandra, Leucaena leucocephala, Prosopis, etc.)
  • Eucalyptus
Grazing land

Grazing land

Forest/ woodlands

Forest/ woodlands


Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): the major land use problem in the area are cutting down of trees, burning of bushes lack of crop roatation and water and soil conservation methods.

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): continous cultivation leading to low yields lack of soil and water conservation methods eg ploughing across the slope

3.5 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • irrigation management (incl. water supply, drainage)
  • water diversion and drainage
  • surface water management (spring, river, lakes, sea)

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

Secondary types of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion

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

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

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

{'additional_translations': {}, 'content_type': 'image/jpeg', 'preview_image': '/media/9f/5/9f5f821a-33bb-416c-8b77-08a4d133dc84.jpg', 'key': 'Technical drawing', 'value': '/media/c8/1/c81c3938-d100-4e58-8d5f-a060e81f87b3.jpg', 'template': 'raw'}
Technical specifications (related to technical drawing):

ketch of the runoff harvesting system


Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: high

Technical knowledge required for land users: moderate

Main technical functions: increase / maintain water stored in soil

Secondary technical functions: improvement of ground cover, water harvesting

Structural measure: diversion ditch/cut-off drain
Spacing between structures (m): 10
Depth of ditches/pits/dams (m): 0.45
Width of ditches/pits/dams (m): 1
Length of ditches/pits/dams (m): 140

Construction material (earth): soil dug out to make channel and ditches

Slope (which determines the spacing indicated above): 2.00%

If the original slope has changed as a result of the Technology, the slope today is: 1.00%

Lateral gradient along the structure: 1.00%

For water harvesting: the ratio between the area where the harvested water is applied and the total area from which water is collected is: 1:10.00

4.2 General information regarding the calculation of inputs and costs

other/ national currency (specify):

Uganda shillings

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. ploughing, 2nd plough, diving the blocks, digging dry season

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 1.0 270.0 270.0 100.0
Equipment Tools ha 1.0 42.0 42.0 100.0
Plant material Seeds ha 1.0 23.0 23.0 100.0
Fertilizers and biocides Compost manure ha 1.0 10.0 10.0 100.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology 345.0
Total costs for establishment of the Technology in USD 0.34

Duration of establishment phase: 60 month(s)

4.5 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Timing/ frequency
1. cleaning inlets during rains/each cropping season
2. cleaning channels during rains/each cropping season

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 1.0 340.0 340.0 100.0
Equipment Tools ha 1.0 315.0 315.0 100.0
Plant material Seeds ha 1.0 71.0 71.0 100.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology 726.0
Total costs for maintenance of the Technology in USD 0.73

structures; channels 140mts long, W 1m depth 0.45m

4.7 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

labour intensive and time consuming in the digging of channels

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

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.

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)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • 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 fertility: Low

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • subsistence (self-supply)
Off-farm income:
  • 10-50% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • rich
  • very 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: 1% - 2%
5% of the land users are very rich and own 30% of the land (with over 10 cows).
10% of the land users are rich and own 25% of the land (with 5 - 10 cows).
20% of the land users are average wealthy and own 20% of the land (with 3-5 cows).
25% of the land users are poor and own 15% of the land (with 1-3).
40% of the land users are poor and own 10% of the land (without cows).

Off-farm income specification: majority of farmers are poor have no access to loans
Level of mechanization: Manual labour (cleaning, weeding and harvest) and animal traction (both ranked 1)

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

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


Land ownership: group, individual, not titled, individual, titled

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts


crop production


land management

Income and costs

farm income



Other socio-economic impacts

Input constraints


Socio-cultural impacts

community institutions


national institutions


SLM/ land degradation knowledge


conflict mitigation


Ecological impacts


soil moisture

Comments/ specify:

Negative: Can lead to waterlogging

soil loss


nutrient cycling/ recharge

Biodiversity: vegetation, animals

plant diversity


animal diversity


habitat diversity

Climate and disaster risk reduction

wind velocity


6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream flooding


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:

neutral/ balanced

Long-term returns:


6.5 Adoption of the Technology


20% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support

500 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: Only one close neighbour has shown interest in copying him. ‘A few’ others from further away, also have. One constraint to adoption is the large amount of labour involved in setting up the system.

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
increased incomes
increased soil moisture content

How can they be sustained / enhanced? adopt mulching
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
water runoff can be managed easily

How can they be sustained / enhanced? constantly maintain the structure
increased yields

How can they be sustained / enhanced? adopt composting

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?
need skills for the adopters adopter need training
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
labour intensive encourage group work
costly to construct encourage household savings

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all