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Wageningen Universiteit (2006)

People and dams : environmental and socio-economic changes induced by a reservoir in Fincha’a watershed, western Ethiopia

Bezuayehu, T.O.

Titre : People and dams : environmental and socio-economic changes induced by a reservoir in Fincha’a watershed, western Ethiopia

Auteur : Bezuayehu, T.O.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen Universiteit

Grade : PhD thesis 2006

Résumé
Dams that store water for electricity, irrigation, domestic water supply or flood control have been constructed for thousands of years worldwide. In too many cases, an unacceptable and often unnecessary price has been paid by watershed inhabitants to secure dam benefits, especially in social and environmental terms. The Fincha’a multipurpose dam in western Ethiopia has caused major land use changes, relocated people against their will and induced excessive population pressure in the upper watershed. Following the creation of this dam crop and livestock production have been shifted to steep and fragile parts of the watershed. Lack of agricultural intensification and soil and water conservation (SWC), poor family planning and land tenure insecurity are pressing socio-economic problems leading to impoverishment of the watershed inhabitants. Increased erosion rates and sediment yields reduce the economic life of the dam.Farmers are well aware of erosion problems but theylack confidence in the positive effect on crop yield of recommended SWC measures.The high labour requirement, loss of cropland, land tenure insecurity and the lack of immediate benefits has negatively affected SWC adoption.Integrated watershed management (IWM) has emerged as alternative to the centrally and sectorial approaches in planning dams. The focal point of any dam development programme, using IWM, is the combination of improving the livelihood of the watershed inhabitants and the sustenance of the resource base. For subsistence farmers it is mainly the production in the current season that guarantees the mere survival of their families. Therefore, IWM should be accompanied by creation of multi-stakeholders platforms and integration of soft and hard system methodologies forcreating an environment where science and knowledge help people to develop a diversity of locally appropriate resource management solutions.IWM can effectively address the social, environmental and economic problems during the planning of new dams in Ethiopia.

Mots clés : dams / watersheds / local population / environmental impact / socioeconomics / water conservation / soil conservation / erosion / water management / reservoirs / ethiopia / integrated water management

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Page publiée le 23 mars 2007, mise à jour le 3 juin 2022