Combined effect of soil bund with biological soil and water conservation measures in the northwestern Ethiopian highlands

Amare, Tadele; Zegeye, Assefa Derebe; Yitaferu, Birru; Steenhuis, Tammo S.; Hurni, Hans; Zeleke, Gete (2014). Combined effect of soil bund with biological soil and water conservation measures in the northwestern Ethiopian highlands. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology, 14(3), pp. 192-199. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ecohyd.2014.07.002

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Excessive runoff and soil erosion in the upper Blue Nile Basin poses a threat that has attracted the attention of the Ethiopian government because of the serious on-site effects in addition to downstream effects, such as the siltation of water harvesting structures and reservoirs. The objective of the study was to evaluate and recommend effective biophysical soil and water conservation measure(s) in the Debre Mewi watershed, about 30 km south of the Lake Tana. Six conservation measures were evaluated for their effects on runoff, soil loss, and forage yield using runoff plots. There was a significant difference between treatments for both runoff and soil loss. The four-year average annual soil loss in the different plots ranged from 26 to 71 t ha−1, and total runoff ranged from 180 to 302 mm, while annual rainfall varied between 854 mm in 2008 and 1247 mm in 2011. Soil bund combined with elephant grass had the lowest runoff and soil loss as compared to the other treatments, whereas the untreated control plot had the highest for both parameters. As an additional benefit, 2.8 and 0.7 t ha−1 year−1 of dried forage was obtained from elephant and local grasses, respectively. Furthermore, it was found that soil bund combined with Tephrosia increased soil organic matter by 13% compared to the control plot. Soil bund efficiency was significantly enhanced by combining them with biological measures and improved farmers’ perception of soil and water conservation measures.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Integrative Geography > Unit Sustainable Land Management
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre (discontinued)
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Hurni, Hans


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

13 Nov 2014 11:01

Last Modified:

24 Mar 2017 16:25

Publisher DOI:





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