Integrated watershed intervention in improving livelihood and natural resource management in Western Amhara Region, Ethiopia

An integrated watershed management was implemented in the Amhara region of Ethiopia mainly to improve natural resource conservation and livelihoods in the region’s watersheds. The study was specifically conducted in West Gojjam and South Gonder zones of Amhara region to determine the effectiveness of the interventions and lessons learnt. Multi-stage sampling was used to select representative respondents while purposive sampling was used to select watersheds based on their experiences in integrated watershed management. Then, random sampling was used to select farmers in the watershed. A household survey was conducted from 296 farmers from eight watersheds using a semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze and present research findings. Farmers perceived farm land, closure and forest areas as the most important natural resources. Crop production and livestock were major means of livelihoods for the community. Natural resource development, crop production and livestock production were the interventions made in the area. Others were physical soil and water conservation and tree planting. Improved crop varieties and inorganic fertilizer application were the major interventions for crop production improvement; while forage and rearing of improved poultry were the major livestock interventions. These lead to multi-dimensional improvements such as improving crop and livestock production, securing household demand, enhancing micro-climatic conditions, improving household living standards. It is recommended that these interventions be continued in addition to forming watershed based innovation platforms to enhance social and organizational cohesion at watershed level to improve and sustain this integrated watershed development.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
East Africa
RUFORUM Working document series
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Licence conditions: 
Open Access
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Web resource