How contour bunding and other technologies can reduce soil erosion and raise productivity in African watersheds
Communities inhabiting Africa’s drylands frequently suffer from torrential floods and recurrent droughts. Under climate change, the situation is worsening; for example, many of the worst natural disasters recorded in East Africa have taken place in the past decade or two. Various land- and water-management practices introduced in recent years have sought to enhance farmers’ resilience to environmental shocks, before climate changes progress further.
Scientists at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), in collaboration with partner organizations, investigated the effects of such interventions. Our findings, outlined in two new publications, show that practices such as contour bunding, infiltration trenches, enclosure-based management and water-spreading weirs can help to reduce the effects of drought, limit soil loss, restore ecosystem services and enhance agricultural production…