1st day – December 6, 2012

4 Questions were raised to the participants:

  1. What is rainwater management?
  2. Example of rainwater management practices?
  3. Can you define farm and landscape scale?
  4. What is water shade management?

Discuss in two groups?
Reporting back

1st question; What is rainwater management?
  • Appropriate capturing of rain water and storing
  • Drainage is included
  • Involves minimizing the losses and enhancing the use
  • It is a concept. Disciplines soil moisture management, flood mgt. and recharge.
  • Focus includes perception rainfall and snow without damaging the land resources
  • Rational utilization of rain. Enhance infiltration, reduce evapo-transpiration and manage runoff when it is excess
  • Needs participation of community, government and planning- according to the land type

2nd question: Examples of rainwater management practices?
  • Terraces
  • Planting trees
  • Rock catchments
  • Moisture harvesting structures (trenches, half moons)
  • Dams
  • Check dams
  • Elephant grass
  • Ponds
  • Roof catchment harvesting
  • Underground tankers
  • Biological fertility
  • Mulching
  • Plastic shades (water harvesting)
  • Wells
  • Crop selection
  • Improved seed
  • Improved livestock breeds
  • Inter-cropping
  • Minimum tillage system
  • Conservation agriculture

3rd question : Can you define farm and landscape scale?
  • Farm level – managed by the farmers themselves (terracing and small structures). Landscape – construction of reservoirs
  • Farm – smallest mgt. unit. Landscape is the collection of farms
  • Farm – individual unit (you can make your own decision. LS – the community makes the decision

Questions from the participants
  • For small water shed concept this can apply. This doesn’t apply for larger water shed
  • The more you need to negotiation you have tradeoff. The bigger the context you have to negotiate more.
  • On small watershed level the zoning and objectives might apply but when it come to larger watershed this concept doesn’t apply. E.g. take the Blue Nile. Even in the smaller water shed. In the upland areas it depends on how you manage your land.
  • Within the small water shed agro-ecology matters.
  • Relate with RWM – it depends on the users. Whatever kind of disciplines it is defined it should be integrated.

What participants learned from the tool:

1st presenter:
  • Looked about water harvesting
  • The only considered factor affecting WH is RDT and there are other factors
  • Water bodies
  • Ground water
  • Slope and rainfall should be included – level areas
  • Presence of rainfall.
  • Very interesting and good tool
  • No big mistake – we’ll see it

2nd presenter:
  • Manageable and friendly for those who even don’t have GIS knowledge
  • It doesn’t produce classes/gradients 0 and 1 type of mapping
  • It is highly expert based – unless the person knows the area it is difficult to generate map
  • On selection of the factors e.g. in the apple suitability mapping – forest was taken as a criteria which is not practical
  • Selection of criteria requires intense knowledge

3rd presenter:
  • Have seen crop mango 3500-4000 rainfall for 1500 to 2500 mm and tried to map and got empty.

4th presenter
  • Simple tool
  • I tried to assess possible areas took slope < …rainfall < 1000 elevation < 2,000 meters and most areas are located in the mid lands and uplands. It doesn’t identify that. And I don’t like the map. I know there is a good potential. It identifies only the western part of the basin.

5th presenter
  • It was a good opportunity to learn this tool
  • It needs earlier knowledge of technical terms and I can produce my map easily
  • Selecting many layers would increase functionality and effectiveness of the tool
  • A layer can’t be too things at the same time

6th presenter
  • It allows two options. It should have a different ranks but it only have two options.

7th presenter
  • Useful for regional planning for the scale is sharp
  • Lot of strengths having this layers
  • The soils should be in the list is what I find is strong – having all the soils is important

  • The ground water layer – have seen several maps are (the possible combinations ) am not sure how much reliable they are
  • Soil – topographic index – it showed all the potential areas for irrigation has been mapped as multi purpose trees.
  • It is important to add help in the program to distribute to different people. Help within the system. It has sample data but in order to use the software we need to have a help icon.

8th presenter
  • There has to be some icons – to give more elaboration about the tools
  • The tool is good but we have to go through each layer to see and give comments

9th presenter
  • Good tool
  • Types of the practices and I don’t have any knowledge of thresholds it was a bit difficult for me and it needs expertize

10th presenter
  • Very impressive – integrated water shed mgt.
  • It needs little knowledge. Who is compiling this data at the back end and what data is this system using
  • It needs a profound knowledge – all the layers we’re using are GIS layers
  • The software is desk top based application and can we apply it on the web.

11th presenter
  • Look at it from the side of decision making
  • Fascinated by the tool
  • Agree that in order to use this tools I need to have confidence in what comes out
  • It is not the problem of the tool
  • Google effect – and get out nothing
  • Two key words will bring me something
  • If you go along developing it – is to allow to use it for different decision making process
  • It helps to get ownership and decision making.
  • It needs to have the option to make the system confident

12th presenter
  • Tool is friendly and simple
  • It needs care – when I put mango for analysis I gave rainfall layer and have given the values from 1800 for layer and the produced map comes empty which is true
  • This tool needs quality data making the result good

Questions from participants
  • It is important tool but for us to decide to use it or not we have to understand the details of the data. (reliable data). Work over this very carefully. There may be some mistakes like in the ground detail.
  • Do you have any plan to add any hydrological components on this?

Session after the coffee break:

Discussion points:
  • What works where?
  • Why doesn’t it happen on the ground and what needs to be done at the policy level or on the ground to make it happen?
  • So why is it that most places don’t have rain water management despite the tools and the guidelines?

  • Socio economics and politics.
  • Appropriate/good policies
  • We have a good policy but the problem is awareness is not created at community level as well as capacity
  • Development agents don’t have the water harvesting technologies. E.g in Jeldu
  • Infrastructure like market
  • Tenure insecurity – so that they can invest on their lands
  • Land holding size
  • GTZ sponsored soil and water conservation practice – the first failure is based on the technical capacity of the soil conservation activities. Professionals themselves are not capable of soil and water practices.
  • Application of the models on the soil and water conservation practices. No understanding of the water systems.
  • The mis-implimention of by-laws. Which is not binding. And the community doesn’t have sense of ownership

What should be done to address these problems:
  • Train the people – but be able upgrade their mind freedom. Learn some practices from China
  • Binding by laws at regional and national level. The keblle doesn’t understand the law and can’t force the people
  • The strategy of implementation needs to be changed
  • Through matching fund from food security.
  • Awareness raising within the farmers

What would be the message to go out to policy makers (endorsing guidelines)
  • There are a lot of technologies and there are no guidelines that are approved in land and water management
  • We have a model in Ethiopia – crop releasing committee – and livestock technologies there are committees that approve the technologies at national level
  • We should develop a guideline/system which has no registration and guidelines
  • From this thematic group we have to raise this question. Otherwise the popular technologies like BBM but nobody knows which parameters is standard. They should be registered and a data with them.
  • From our thematic group we can raise this issue
  • Who is responsible for approving these technologies

Community water shed mgt. guidelines (Charlotte)
Manuals for conservation agriculture for water shed mgt. which is published by MoA. Why are they not used at Kebele level.
There are extension agents which are trained in agriculture? Why is it that these guidelines that already exist not being used? What is the problem – regardless of the tools

Answer from participants:
  • These guidelines are available even at woreda level – 6-7 years back.
  • When I work I found the Amharic version which is very well articulated
  • But they can’t implement because of the approach and there is not controlling mechanism even for the experts. They have it and know it but they’re not implementing it accordingly.

Question for Dr. Birru
  • Is it possible to have standards. E.g. in Amhara region where there is very complicated social and land system –

Answer from Dr. Birru:
  • Guidelines which is participatory. The problem is when it goes to the woreda level it doesn’t tell which technology is applicable to which area. Which technology where. Walk at is a good tool. That is the problem of this guideline
  • We have to tell which technologies applies where to which soil to which rain condition
  • Standard – if we develop a technology like BBM it must have a parameter that explains the BBM which has its own characteristics. Descriptions are needed for each technology. Clear description of what the technology is and where to apply it.

Answer from another participants
  • It needs a participatory approach which requires a lot of budget
  • The budget is a constraint
  • The government wants to show impact and they’re following a campaign approach.
  • DA’s are not professional contributing – and they’re doing campaign approach
  • There is a mis-match b/n the guidelines and the way the gov.t is implementing the guidelines
  • Leaders are changing (turn over of experts and leadership)
  • Political commitment for the system should be there.
  • High turn over. E.g. in Gonder 60% are in contract agreement and permanent staff have already left and staff are on contract staff
  • There is a political commitment but they’re not using the system which needs budget and staff.
  • Even if the guidelines is there, planning were top down. There is poor spatial knowledge. When planning at woreda level they used it indiscriminately. There must be selection of technologies based on landscape. When you go down the knowledge of the environment is an issue. So, they just use one technology for all.
  • Even if this guidelines are there, for example BBM has been applied in the wrong place. There is a quota type of distribution of technologies. Farmers are using wrong technologies at the wrong place.
  • Guideline is not an issue. The capacity to use it is a problem which is loss of commitment from decision makers.
  • It is good to have some exposure from other countries like China.
  • The decision makers are not dedicated – and the community is not dedicated as well.
  • Community doesn’t show a tangible result.
  • The major problem is not in the guideline but the guidelines are good enough to be implemented. But there is technical capacity limitation

Why do the extension workers and DA’s leave ?
Charlotte explain her Vietnam experience.

Some reasons from participants
  • Living in the countryside without electricity, water , TV and telephone may be difficult so they leave even without securing another job (facilities in the rural areas especially for the ones who went form the urban areas)
  • There is heavy work load. They have to travel long distances – complain of kidney sickness
  • Poverty is the main reason for the turn over
  • There is expansion of universities and DA’s want to go to the small towns. They go to small towns to attend the course and many are attending distance education so they leave.
  • The salary is not satisfactory at all level so they go to NGO’s. Staff retention at all levels especially for the civil servants is an issue.

Question No. 1: Is this kind of event useful?
  • All the participants said that this kind of event is very useful

Question no. 2: How could it be more useful?
  • Make it user friendly – e.g soil
  • The problem of the designer shouldn’t be the problem of the user
  • The database should be known by the users
  • Completion of the meta data
  • Need to have help document as an icon on the software like a standard software format
  • Should be replicable to other systems
  • This system needs prior knowledge of GIS.
  • Very shallow GIS application and map reading knowledge are mandatory

Question No. 3: Is it useful to do this kind of event again? How can it be institutionalized with an external facilitator?
  • It is good to have institution as a focal point but the TWG is important and ideas get matured here and go to the national platform. So focal institutions are needed.
  • How much are we sure of – the problem of open source software’s is it stops at some point? How do we make it sustainable for the users

Question No. 4: If there were no resources would somebody come to these meeting?
  • E.g. for different associations people contribute if the association has a clear objective
  • Giving the group some official status may help

Question No. 5: Support – after NBDC ends are there other types of resources – who else could the group approach to get the resources?
  • STC is a possibility
  • Collaborate with SLM Ethiopia if they believe in this TWG
  • There will be events in the coming months for further discussion. Search for resources when this program is over. The bigger platform won’t function without the TWG.