Another success story: farmers build check dams across gullies

 

These kinds of soil restoration efforts should be spreading around the world

Ethiopian farmers made a desert bloom again

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This cycle turned a watershed in Adisghe County, Ethiopia, into a near desert, prompting the government to consider moving the farmers. Instead, they decided to try to rescue the land. With the help of an international project called Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING), they began building dams, terraces, and recharge ponds. They planted trees on hilltops and planted cover crops on degraded areas.

All of these methods had the same goal: Slow down the water. So, for instance, the farmers built check dams across gullies to stop the headlong flow, catch the eroding earth, and create a pool that would percolate into the ground.

The results were astounding. As you can see in this video (shot by Henry Tenenbaum and produced by Georgina Smith at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture), farmers and researchers have transformed dust bowls into productive green valleys.

Read the full article: GRIST

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.