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Article

Impacts of Community Based Watershed Management on Land Use/Cover Change at Elemo Micro-Watershed, Southern Ethiopia

1Department of Geography and Environmental studies, Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia

2Yirgachefe Secondary and Preparatory School


American Journal of Environmental Protection. 2018, Vol. 6 No. 3, 59-67
DOI: 10.12691/env-6-3-2
Copyright © 2018 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Abiyot Legesse, Misikir Bogale, Dereje Likisa. Impacts of Community Based Watershed Management on Land Use/Cover Change at Elemo Micro-Watershed, Southern Ethiopia. American Journal of Environmental Protection. 2018; 6(3):59-67. doi: 10.12691/env-6-3-2.

Correspondence to: Abiyot  Legesse, Department of Geography and Environmental studies, Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia. Email: abiyotl@du.edu.et

Abstract

Implementation of watershed at small scale level, through community participation would enhance biodiversity, increase soil fertility, reduce soil loss and also contribute to climate change mitigation. In view of this, this paper assesses the impact of community based watershed management on land use/cover change at Elemo micro watershed. Comparison of land use/ cover before and after the implementation of watershed development program was made using satellite images of four periods to shed light on the role of community based watershed management at micro-level. Cognizant of the prevailing land degradation and the consequent livelihood challenges, the local government in collaboration with the local people had introduced watershed management in the area in 2005. Following the intervention, large areas which were degraded and left bare had been covered with bush/shrub, agroforestry and grassland. Before the intervention (in 2005), the proportion of bush/shrub and agroforestry was 171 ha and 34 ha respectively. This was later increased to 617 ha and 152ha respectively following the measures taken. The result also showed that the implemented community based watershed management intervention resulted in restoration of biodiversity and improvement in soil fertility. A key factor to this success was active participation of the local community through their social organization and cultural practices such as Urane. The findings of this study reveal that CBWSM at small scale plays an essential role in improving land use planning, reducing poverty and creating sustainable livelihoods in Ethiopia.

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