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Assessment of Design and Constraints of Physical Soil and Water Conservation Structures in respect to the standard in the case of Gidabo sub-basin, Ethiopia

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In Ethiopia institutional and extensive soil and water conservation (SWC) started in the 1970s. Due to several factors, most SWC works have not fully achieved the intended objectives. The disparity between dimensions of the implemented SWC work and the standard is the main factor. Therefore, this research work aimed to assess the design and constraints of SWC in the Gidabo sub-basin, of the Ethiopian rift valley. Data were generated through field observation, field measurements, household survey, interview, group discussion, and Arc GIS. According to the result, about 47.3% of the physical design of the implemented SWC structures failed to meet the standard dimension. In addition, the SWC lacks the standard supportive activities, such as the cut of the drain, check dam, biological work, and frequent maintenance. FGD and KII showed about 71.3% of the farmers accepted SWC technologies, but they have constraints for SWC. These were small land size, food insecurity, lack of resources, technical skill, field guidance, poor maintenance, as well as young migration. The researchers used the chi-square test for the significant variation of constraints along with different agro ecology. According to the chi-square result, significant association was observed between land size, access to fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, construction materials, technical skill, and maintenance of the structures versus agro ecology. Therefore, the implementation of SWC practices should be focused on the way to avoid/lower the observed mismatch of the structures against the standard. Also the constraints in different agro ecology should be solved through full community participation in order to follow the standard SWC measures for sustainable socio-economic and environmental development.

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