Water Spreading (typical example from Hashatribab) [Sudán]

Sidud (Local Arabic) - Tarrit (Beja dialect) for earth dams

technologies_1292 - Sudán

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1. Información general

1.2 Detalles de contacto de las personas de referencia e instituciones involucradas en la evaluación y la documentación de la Tecnología

Persona(s) de referencia clave

Especialista MST:
Especialista MST:
Nombre de la(s) institución(es) que facilitaron la documentación/ evaluación de la Tecnología (si fuera relevante)
Soil Conservation, Land Use and Water Adminstratio (Soil Conservation, Land Use and Water Adminstratio) - Sudán

1.3 Condiciones referidas al uso de datos documentados mediante WOCAT

El compilador y la/s persona(s) de referencia claves aceptan las condiciones acerca del uso de los datos documentados mediante WOCAT:

1.4 Declaración de la sostenibilidad de la Tecnología descrita

¿La Tecnología aquí descrita resulta problemática en relación a la degradación de la tierra, de tal forma que no puede considerársela una tecnología sostenible para el manejo de la tierra?


1.5 Referencia al (los) Cuestionario(s) de Enfoques MST (documentados usando WOCAT)

2. Descripción de la Tecnología MST

2.1 Breve descripción de la Tecnología

Definición de la Tecnología:

Water Spreading (or Spate Irrigation system) conducted through the construction of earth dam structures at the khor cross section.

2.2 Descripción detallada de la Tecnología


Water Spreading (or Spate Irrigation) can be done through the construction of an angled bank or weir – with a spillway in case of excess flow – to divert a “khor” (ephemeral stream) and spread it (using spaced contour bunds) for crop production.

Water Spreading from khors or wadis where channelized runoff/ floodwater is diverted onto plains which are then cultivated on residual moisture. An example of a scheme which was constructed in 1999 is located at Hashitribab, some 7 km from Sinkat on the road towards Kassala. This scheme, comprising a stone-pitched earth diversion barrier across a khor (an ephemeral water course), is documented by using among others the WOCAT Questionnaire and WOCAT’s QA. While the diversion is still intact and provides water to the fields about one kilometre downstream (there were young sorghum plants growing at the time of the visit in November 2011) maintenance will be needed.
There was only a very small input of voluntary labour in its original construction (comprising a contribution in terms of stone pitching).

Construction by the Government, using machinery, with little local contribution might explain why voluntary maintenance of the structures has been negligible. Water spreading schemes have gradually expanded in number over the last 20 years in Red Sea State (according to Sayed Dabloub’s personal comment). Currently it was confirmed that there are new sites under planning and construction.

The purposes of diversion dam construction was to divert the main water course to take its way in the crop growing area replacing the old one and being controlled by small diversion dams (terraces to spread water for even water distribution through the original land. These terraces remarkably reduce gully formation.
Most important purpose is to provide water to growing crops in an area which is too dry for rain fed production and where no source for irrigation is available. It secures moisture during the growing season, by allowing more water to penetrate soil and to preserve moisture for a longer period at plant root zone.
The decrease of flood water velocity leads to silt accumulation and other debris materials which increase soil capability in providing moisture, nutrients and maintain soil structure and conservation.

For the earthen/stone-pitched diversion structure with spillway and small haffir alongside machines have been used (mainly loaders provided by the government) which excavated and built the bund. In addition local communities were involved in some aspects of the establishment (mainly stone pitching) supported/subsidized with incentives. The structure/scheme at Hashitribab (close to Sinkat) was built in 1999 (and no maintenance has been done since that time). It helps in watering about 500 feddan (c. 200 hectares) of agricultural area where water is spread by the use of small contour bunds: these were also constructed using subsidies and machines.
Terraces are usually used to control water spreading along the cropped area. Those terraces usually receive the water at low speed velocity. For that reason they are very small in size and volume. Usually they are located in very gentle and uniformed areas. The terraces can be constructed by simple hand tool and tractors accessories. But the prolonged drought makes the maintenance difficult as the dry soil is more susceptible to wind erosion and sand accumulation on both sides of the dam and the bottom of the bund is one of several desertification phenomenon in the region. But the wind-blown sand is one of the most serious one especially in the dry lands of the Red Sea State. Contour survey for land leveling slope identification and location is an important step before implementation.

The study site is located in the arid region of Red Sea State where steep hills from north-south inland mountains are interrupted by arid plains. The population density is low and the population depends on both cropping and livestock with high incidence of poverty. For this reason there should be a clear plan for construction and community extension approach to care about the maintenance of the technology. About 120 families live in Hashitribab area. All the year round they secure their provision by storing food crops in particular sorghum.

2.3 Fotografías de la Tecnología

2.5 País/ región/ lugares donde la Tecnología fue aplicada y que se hallan comprendidos por esta evaluación



Región/ Estado/ Provincia:

Red Sea

Especifique más el lugar :

Sinkat Locality

Especifique la difusión de la Tecnología:
  • distribuida parejamente sobre un área
Si se desconoce el área precisa, indique el área aproximada cubierta:
  • 1-10 km2

2.6 Fecha de la implementación

Si no se conoce el año preciso, indique la fecha aproximada:
  • 10-50 años atrás

2.7 Introducción de la Tecnología

Especifique cómo se introdujo la Tecnología:
  • mediante la innovación de usuarios de tierras
Comentarios (tipo de proyecto, etc.):

This scheme was built – in 1999 - on the site of a smaller traditional diversion

3. Clasificación de la Tecnología MST

3.1 Propósito(s) principal(es) de la Tecnología MST

  • mejorar la producción
  • reducir, prevenir, restaurar la degradación del suelo

3.2 Tipo(s) actuales de uso de la tierra donde se aplica la Tecnología

Tierras cultivadas

Tierras cultivadas

  • Cosecha anual
Cosechas anuales - Especifique cultivos:
  • cereales - sorgo
Número de temporadas de cultivo por año:
  • 1

Longest growing period in days: 90


Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): Soil vulnerability to erosion due to rainfall irregularity and characterized by drought cycles; in some years rainfall recorded complete absence. Bare and and dried soils are easily affected by erosion agents (wind and water erosion) as these soils are weakly tolerant. Soils in plains are very poor, not renewable and are affected more than soils in seasonable rivers which are renewable with high soil water moisture.
Major land use problems (land users’ perception): Rain fed soils are weak in moisture holding capacity contrast to soils in flush irrigation soils and preferably used for seasonal cultivation by users and producing stable food crops with good productivity besides all underground water for human consumption and livestock through wells at reasonable depths are to be found.
Future (final) land use (after implementation of SLM Technology): Cropland: Ca: Annual cropping

3.3 ¿Cambió el uso de tierras debido a la implementación de la Tecnología?

Tierras cultivadas

Tierras cultivadas

  • Cosecha anual

3.4 Provisión de agua

otra (ej. post-inundación):
  • post-flooding

3.5 Grupo MST al que pertenece la Tecnología

  • medida de pendiente transversal
  • diversión y drenaje de agua

3.6 Medidas MST que componen la Tecnología

medidas estructurales

medidas estructurales

  • S2: Taludes, bancos

3.7 Principales tipos de degradación del suelo encarados con la Tecnología

erosión de suelos por agua

erosión de suelos por agua

  • Wt: pérdida de capa arable/ erosión de la superficie
  • Wg: erosión en cárcavas
  • Wo: efectos de degradación fuera del sitio

Main causes of degradation: crop management (annual, perennial, tree/shrub) (Clearance of land from resdues to mitigate erosion), overgrazing (Stocking at trees and shrubs continue during the flowering stage preventing seeds production.), industrial activities and mining (To manage mining activities.), change in temperature (Reduced rainfall rate and more affection by wind erosion.), change of seasonal rainfall (More unpredictable and uncertain), Heavy / extreme rainfall (intensity/amounts) (affect in water erosin), droughts (affect passively on the vegetation cover and disintegration of rural families.), poverty / wealth (Not able to conserve resources)
Secondary causes of degradation: soil management (Breaking and blanking soil clods, and leveling and furrowing to increase soil roughness specially at wet seasons to reduce water erodability.), deforestation / removal of natural vegetation (incl. forest fires) (excessive use of tree products), over-exploitation of vegetation for domestic use (Rising population and thus more resource requirements. This is typically is round growing population at urban at centres unlike to people in rural areas except at rainy season where they are gathered), urbanisation and infrastructure development (Sequence to absence of infrastructures and related problems of drought increased rural migration to urban areas.), wind storms / dust storms (Erosion of top soil by wind blown.), floods (unless controlled), inputs and infrastructure: (roads, markets, distribution of water points, other, …) (Blocking water flow in some areas), education, access to knowledge and support services (Low environmental awareness and preparedness.)

3.8 Prevención, reducción o restauración de la degradación del suelo

Especifique la meta de la Tecnología con relación a la degradación de la tierra:
  • prevenir la degradación del suelo
  • restaurar/ rehabilitar tierra severamente degradada

4. Especificaciones técnicas, actividades de implementación, insumos y costos

4.1 Dibujo técnico de la Tecnología


Dr. Adil Khidir, Fuculty of Engineering, Kartoum University

4.3 Actividades de establecimiento

Actividad Momento (estación)
1. Excavation of foundation trenches. 1 week
2. Backfilling with heavy soil 1 day
3. Establishment diversion structure 8 weeks
4. Stonepitching by hand 3 weeks
5. Construction of spillway 2 weeks

4.4 Costos e insumos necesarios para el establecimiento

Especifique insumo Unidad Cantidad Costos por unidad Costos totales por insumo % de los costos cubiertos por los usuarios de las tierras
Mano de obra labour ha 1,0 57,0 57,0
Equipo machine use ha 1,0 355,0 355,0
Costos totales para establecer la Tecnología 412,0
Costos totales para establecer la Tecnología en USD 412,0

4.5 Actividades de establecimiento/ recurrentes

Actividad Momento/ frequencia
1. Tillage before fluding period

4.6 Costos e insumos necesarios para actividades de mantenimiento/ recurrentes (por año)


For the diversion structure and spillway at time of construction (1999)

4.7 Factores más determinantes que afectan los costos:

Describa los factores más determinantes que afectan los costos:

The slope and depth of the wadi/ khor to be diverted

5. Entorno natural y humano

5.1 Clima

Lluvia anual
  • < 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
Zona agroclimática
  • árida

Thermal climate class: tropics

5.2 Topografía

Pendientes en promedio:
  • plana (0-2 %)
  • ligera (3-5%)
  • moderada (6-10%)
  • ondulada (11-15%)
  • accidentada (16-30%)
  • empinada (31-60%)
  • muy empinada (>60%)
Formaciones telúricas:
  • meseta/ planicies
  • cordilleras
  • laderas montañosas
  • laderas de cerro
  • pies de monte
  • fondo del valle
Zona altitudinal:
  • 0-100 m s.n.m.
  • 101-500 m s.n.m.
  • 501-1,000 m s.n.m
  • 1,001-1,500 m s.n.m
  • 1,501-2,000 m s.n.m
  • 2,001-2,500 m s.n.m
  • 2,501-3,000 m s.n.m
  • 3,001-4,000 m s.n.m
  • > 4,000 m s.n.m

5.3 Suelos

Profundidad promedio del suelo:
  • muy superficial (0-20 cm)
  • superficial (21-50 cm)
  • moderadamente profunda (51-80 cm)
  • profunda (81-120 cm)
  • muy profunda (>120 cm)
Materia orgánica de capa arable:
  • baja (<1%)

5.4 Disponibilidad y calidad de agua

Agua subterránea:

< 5 m

Calidad de agua (sin tratar):

agua potable de mala calidad (requiere tratamiento)

5.6 Las características de los usuarios de la tierra que aplican la Tecnología

Orientación del mercado del sistema de producción:
  • subsistencia (autoprovisionamiento)
Ingresos no agrarios:
  • 10-50% de todo el ingreso
Individuos o grupos:
  • individual/ doméstico
Nivel de mecanización:
  • trabajo manual
  • mujeres
  • hombres
Indique otras características relevantes de los usuarios de las tierras:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly disadvantaged land users
Population density: < 10 persons/km2
Annual population growth: 2% - 3%
100% of the land users are poor.
Off-farm income specification: Other activities include casual labour and livestock raising

5.7 Área promedio de la tierra usada por usuarios de tierra que aplican la Tecnología

  • < 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
¿Esto se considera de pequeña, mediana o gran escala (refiriéndose al contexto local)?
  • pequeña escala

5.8 Tenencia de tierra, uso de tierra y derechos de uso de agua

Tenencia de tierra:
  • comunitaria/ aldea
  • individual, con título
Derechos de uso de tierra:
  • comunitarios (organizado)
  • individual

5.9 Acceso a servicios e infraestructura

  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
asistencia técnica:
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
empleo (ej. fuera de la granja):
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
caminos y transporte:
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno
agua potable y saneamiento:
  • pobre
  • moderado
  • bueno

6. Impactos y comentarios para concluir

6.1 Impactos in situ demostrados por la Tecnología

Impactos socioeconómicos


producción de cultivo

Comentarios/ especifique:

Relative to nothing otherwise

producción de forraje


riesgo de fracaso de producción


área de producción

Disponibilidad y calidad de agua

disponibilidad de agua potable

Ingreso y costos

ingreso agrario


diversidad de fuentes de ingreso


Impactos socioculturales

seguridad alimentaria/ autosuficiencia


oportunidades culturales


oportunidades recreativas


instituciones comunitarias

se debilitaron
se fortalecieron

competition with natural ecosystem

Comentarios/ especifique:

Floodwaters diverted will not reach original destination and those former beneficiaries

contribution to human well-being

Comentarios/ especifique:

Due to more reliable production despite low and variable rainfall

Impactos ecológicos

Ciclo de agua/ escurrimiento de sedimento

cantidad de agua


calidad de agua


cosecha/ recolección de agua


escurrimiento superficial




humedad del suelo


cubierta del suelo


materia orgánica debajo del suelo C

Otros impactos ecológicos

competition with natural ecosystem

Comentarios/ especifique:

Floodwaters diverted will not reach original destination

6.2 Impactos fuera del sitio demostrados por la Tecnología

disponibilidad de agua


inundaciones río abajo


6.3 Exposición y sensibilidad de la Tecnología al cambio climático gradual y a extremos relacionados al clima/ desastres (desde la percepción de los usuarios de tierras)

Cambio climático gradual

Cambio climático gradual
Estación Incremento o reducción ¿Cómo es que la tecnología soporta esto?
temperatura anual incrementó bien

Extremos (desastres) relacionados al clima

Desastres hidrológicos
¿Cómo es que la tecnología soporta esto?
inundación general (río) bien

Construction of water spreading devices serves to preserve water, reduce the waste, increase soil moisture capacity and raise soil fertility (silt accumulation)

6.4 Análisis costo-beneficio

¿Cómo se comparan los beneficios con los costos de establecimiento (desde la perspectiva de los usuarios de tierra)?
Ingresos a corto plazo:

ligeramente positivo

Ingresos a largo plazo:



no maintenance carried out so not applicable here

6.5 Adopción de la Tecnología

  • > 50%

75% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support
102 land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support, scheme construction subsidised by Government
15% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support
18 land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support
There is no trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology. People cannot construct khor/ wadi diversion barriers themselves by hand

6.7 Fuerzas/ ventajas/ oportunidades de la Tecnología

Fuerzas/ ventajas/ oportunidades desde la perspectiva del compilador o de otra persona de referencia clave
Useful and important in the area where floodwater harvesting/ spate irrigation is the only option for crop production. No rain fed irrigation system on the Red Sea State unlike to other Sudan.

6.8 Debilidades/ desventajas/ riesgos de la Tecnología y formas de sobreponerse a ellos

Debilidades/ desventajas/ riesgos desde la perspectiva del usuario de la tierra ¿Cómo sobreponerse a ellas?
SLM not falls under the community responsibility. They believe SLM is completely Gos role. Land users awareness and involvement
They don’t think that community plays a role in the ongoing soil and vegetation degradation Rotational grazing and seed broadcasting
They also say no regular concern by the government is given in relation to land reclamation A location of budget and equipment to reclaim land and natural vegetation conservation.
They confirm that the physical conditions played a great role in land degradation e.g. drought aridity and high temperatures . To ensure water harvesting and without waste.
Debilidades/ desventajas/ riesgos desde la perspectiva del compilador o de otra persona de referencia clave ¿Cómo sobreponerse a ellas?
High cost (needs machinery to move earth) More support from Government and outside
Not enough trained personnel More up-grading skills are required
Very little data available (apart from construction details) Better system of monitoring and evaluation
Low technical capacity of the community Capacity building and training

7. Referencias y vínculos

7.1 Métodos/ fuentes de información

  • visitas de campo, encuestas de campo
  • entrevistas con usuarios de tierras

Vínculos y módulos

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