Experiences of the MERET Project of
the Ministry of Agriculture
in Integrated Watershed Management in Ethiopia
Betru Nedes...
Contents
1. Overall context & Objectives
2. Scope of the Project & its relevance to
Nile River basin
3. Development approa...
 Deterioration of soil
 Degradation of water
resources
 Loss of vegetation cover &
biodiversity
 2 to 3% of AGDP loss ...
Recognizing Negative impacts of LD,
 GoE with support of dev’t partners launched large scale LR
program in 1980s.
 The 1...
The Beginning of MERET Project
 The WFP supported MERET (ETH-2488/FFW)
project started in 1980s
 This marked the beginni...
Main objectives
To increase the ability of food insecure HHs to meet necessary
food needs and improve livelihoods;
throug...
Scope of the Project
MERET Operates in 5 Regions & One administrative
council, in 72 woredas:
Tigray (17)
Amhara (23)
...
Relevance & Applicability of MERET
Experiences to Nile River basin
Some woredas are Located in Nile basin
e.g. 11 Woredas...
MERET adopted CBPWSM
Gender sensitive & women are empowered
Major activity Components
Water Harvesting & SWC
Reforestation
 Seedling production
Multiplication of improved
(MP) pl...
Major Activity Components
 Enhancing productivity &
Biomass Intensification (AF,
Forage, MP spp,
 To meet fuel wood, tim...
Major Activity Components
IGAs-HSD (Packages):-
 Horticulture,
 Beekeeping, poultry
 Fattening, dairy, fish
culture
S...
Achievements & Impacts of MERET
Many degraded lands, which
were barren,
devoid of any vegetation,
rocky & gullied lands
we...
 Soil Depth increased
 Soil loss reduced
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
T/Neale
A/Gedabu
Aromba
Werekaffe
Mekanisa
Dhabee...
Construction of Farmland
Terraces:
Increased soil depths
Increased soil fertility
Increased WHC
Hence,
Increased Pro...
Rehabilitation of degraded
hillsides to productive woodlots
Ground water recharged
and base flow enhanced
Impacts of MERET...
Overall Impacts of MERET
Restored the hydrological balance &
availed water for SSI & domestic use
 Availed abundant fuel...
 Increased overall income,
savings & investment
 Improved housing Quality
 Improved access to
education
 Reduced Out-m...
Success Factors & Lessons from MERET
 Good organizational structure, staffing & strong linkages
from top to the grass roo...
 Effectiveness of SWC structures (adoption of quality control
system)
 Community empowerment for decision making
 Combi...
 Social & cultural barriers (eg. Free grazing)
 Financial (resources) constraints to scale up best
practices
 Inadequat...
Opportunities
Availability of conducive policies, strategies for promoting
SLM practices
The special attention given by ...
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Experiences of MERET Project of Ministry of Agriculture in integrated watershed management in Ethiopia

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Presented by Betru Nedessa at the NBDC Regional Stakeholder Dialogue Workshop, Bahir Dar, 23–24 July 2013

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Experiences of MERET Project of Ministry of Agriculture in integrated watershed management in Ethiopia

  1. 1. Experiences of the MERET Project of the Ministry of Agriculture in Integrated Watershed Management in Ethiopia Betru Nedessa NBDC Regional Stakeholder Dialogue, Bahir Dar, 23–24 July 2013
  2. 2. Contents 1. Overall context & Objectives 2. Scope of the Project & its relevance to Nile River basin 3. Development approach & Community participation 4. Activity components 5. Achievements and Impacts 6. Success factors & lessons from MERET 7. Challenges & Opportunities
  3. 3.  Deterioration of soil  Degradation of water resources  Loss of vegetation cover & biodiversity  2 to 3% of AGDP loss per yr  ~US$ 1.0 billion/year Land degradation is the major cause of low productivity, food insecurity & Poverty Overall Context
  4. 4. Recognizing Negative impacts of LD,  GoE with support of dev’t partners launched large scale LR program in 1980s.  The 1st FFW supported SWC started in 1971 in Tigray in 1972 in Wollo with the U.S. food aid under the PL 480 project  This was replaced by WFP funded projects in 1974  1974-1980 small & fragmented SWC projects
  5. 5. The Beginning of MERET Project  The WFP supported MERET (ETH-2488/FFW) project started in 1980s  This marked the beginning of large scale LR & SWC in Ethiopia  Before this project; Little was known about IWSM, WH, SWC So, MERET is- a pioneer project marked the beginning of Large scale LR & NR mag’t (WH & SWC)
  6. 6. Main objectives To increase the ability of food insecure HHs to meet necessary food needs and improve livelihoods; through Land rehabilitation, proper natural resources management, productivity enhancement, asset creation & diversification of livelihoods
  7. 7. Scope of the Project MERET Operates in 5 Regions & One administrative council, in 72 woredas: Tigray (17) Amhara (23) Oromia (16) SNNP (12) Somali (3) Diredewa (1) In 500-600 sites (sub-watersheds) No of annual beneficiaries is about 1.5 million (40% are women)
  8. 8. Relevance & Applicability of MERET Experiences to Nile River basin Some woredas are Located in Nile basin e.g. 11 Woredas in Amhara & 2 Woredas in Oromya  Most of the project operation areas have been confined to the highlands  With similar bio-physical & socio-economic settings of the upper Nile River basin  Thus, the experiences & best practices of MERET are very relevant and applicable
  9. 9. MERET adopted CBPWSM Gender sensitive & women are empowered
  10. 10. Major activity Components Water Harvesting & SWC Reforestation  Seedling production Multiplication of improved (MP) planting materials Community level access road development
  11. 11. Major Activity Components  Enhancing productivity & Biomass Intensification (AF, Forage, MP spp,  To meet fuel wood, timber & Livestock feed & SOMM  Provide adequate ground cover  Low cost SFM (SOMM) (e.g. Compost)
  12. 12. Major Activity Components IGAs-HSD (Packages):-  Horticulture,  Beekeeping, poultry  Fattening, dairy, fish culture Small Scale Water Dev’t  Capacity development & technical back ups
  13. 13. Achievements & Impacts of MERET Many degraded lands, which were barren, devoid of any vegetation, rocky & gullied lands were converted into productive lands & Green Environment Rehabilitated Degraded lands
  14. 14.  Soil Depth increased  Soil loss reduced 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 T/Neale A/Gedabu Aromba Werekaffe Mekanisa Dhabee B/Sorie B/Behe A/Amba L/Wolteha H/River Soildepth(cm) Treated Untreated 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Lemin Wolteha Ambassel Harbu Borda Mekanisa Dhabee AdisAmba TsaidaNeale AdiGedabu BishanBehe BolosoSorie Soilloss(tons/ha/yr) Treated Control Soil erosion control & reduction of its on-site and off-site impacts (from 11 watersheds) Impacts of MERET Project
  15. 15. Construction of Farmland Terraces: Increased soil depths Increased soil fertility Increased WHC Hence, Increased Productivity & Sustained Agric Production Use of agric inputs became viable Impacts of MERET Project
  16. 16. Rehabilitation of degraded hillsides to productive woodlots Ground water recharged and base flow enhanced Impacts of MERET Project
  17. 17. Overall Impacts of MERET Restored the hydrological balance & availed water for SSI & domestic use  Availed abundant fuel wood, construction materials & livestock feed  Prevented flood damages to down stream farmlands, villages, properties & lives  Prevented siltation of water bodies (dams, lakes, etc)
  18. 18.  Increased overall income, savings & investment  Improved housing Quality  Improved access to education  Reduced Out-migration  Enhanced knowledge on WH & SWC  Boosted Self confidence Overall impacts on HH incomes & livelihoods
  19. 19. Success Factors & Lessons from MERET  Good organizational structure, staffing & strong linkages from top to the grass roots level  Experience sharing visit system among regions, woredas and farmers  Farmers’ Filed days  Regular joint review programs among regions & woredas (to critically review and evaluate the performance of each region or woreda and to learn from one another)
  20. 20.  Effectiveness of SWC structures (adoption of quality control system)  Community empowerment for decision making  Combination of right technologies (LR, & SWC should be integrated to IGAs)  Technical capacity built at all levels  Regular Technical back up (close supervision)  Testing & Démonstration of the new technologies i.e. « seeing is believing » Success Factors & Lessons
  21. 21.  Social & cultural barriers (eg. Free grazing)  Financial (resources) constraints to scale up best practices  Inadequate impact studies & documentation of best practices, publishing and dissemination (e.g. Hydrology, biomass, OM accumulation, Soil moisture regime, Soil fertility/productivity, etc) vis-à-vis CC. Major Challenges
  22. 22. Opportunities Availability of conducive policies, strategies for promoting SLM practices The special attention given by GoE Availability of success stories (proven technologies) on the ground (seeing is believing) Good expertise and technical capacity for scaling up the same Good understanding about NRM by the community esp. in areas where successful results achieved.

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