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Implementing Water Resources Management Interventions for africaJUICE

In November 2019 Aidenvironment started a new project in Ethiopia: Implementation of Water Resources Management Interventions for africaJUICE. The project will implement the recommendations made in an earlier Aidenvironment study. The aim is to prevent erosion, improve water retention and recharge, and develop water resources in the africaJUICE farm and in two tributaries of the Awash River (Biskelo and Worenso).

The water resources interventions will:

  • Provide additional water to the africaJUICE farms
  • Provide water to local communities in a long-term sustainable manner, allowing them to become more climate resilient and strengthening their livelihoods
  • Improve the relationships between the communities surrounding the africaJUICE farms and africaJUICE
  • Make a positively impact on sustainability goals in environment, water, and gender

The project will be implemented in partnership with the Oromio Bureau of Agriculture and MetaMeta. The project will run until June 2021 and will focus on two components:

  • Development of an institution for microcatchment management
  • Design and construction of water harvesting infrastructure

Proposed water harvesting interventions

Institution for microcatchment management
Under this component the project will establish an institution that will support the development and management of the watershed in the two tributary rivers. Its purpose will be to facilitate the management and maintenance of the water resources infrastructures to be developed in the watersheds of the Worenso and Biskelo Rivers and oversee equitable division of water between africaJUICE and the communities. The aim is to increase water availability in the dry season and retain water upstream for community access in the upper regions, develop smallholder irrigation systems upstream from the Tibila Channel, and secure water access for africaJUICE outgrowers. Every effort will be made to have equal representation of men and women in the catchment committee.

 Design and construction of water harvesting infrastructure
The project will coordinate the construction of water harvesting infrastructure within and outside the africaJUICE farm and contract farms. The figure on the right shows the proposed infrastructure.

 

Testing gully plugs in degraded land

Within the africaJUICE farms
The africaJUICE farms contain large area of degraded land. Large gullies have formed and the erosion is starting to affect fruit plantations and farm infrastructure. In order to stop the erosion, the project will implement soil and water retention structures and work to re-establish trees and grasses to stabilize the soil. Other water harvesting infrastructure will be designed and built, including a reservoir to provide water for irrigation in the dry season.

Outside the africaJUICE farms in the Worenzo and Biskelo microcatchments
Currently the main problem of the Worenso and Biskelo rivers is their high peak flow and low dry season base flow. New water recharge and retention structures upstream will deliver a multitude of benefits to africaJUICE, the local communities and the environment:

  • Reduced peak flows, which will positively affect the people downstream who are currently affected by flooding
  • Slower flows in the peak season, which will promote groundwater recharge upstream
  • Increased base flows in the dry season (fed by the recharged groundwater), making more irrigation water available during dry periods

The project will design and implement a range of water retention and recharge structures in both rivers to increase supplies of irrigation and drinking water.

 

For more information, please contact Rommert Schram