African Journal of Water Conservation and Sustainability

African Journal of Water Conservation and Sustainability Vol. 1 (5), pp. 081-093, December, 2013. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Role of collective actions in integrated soil and water conservation: The Case of Gununo Watershed, Southern Ethiopia

Waga Mazengia1* and Jermias Mowo2

1Hawassa Agricultural Research Centre, P. O. Box, 6, Hawassa, Ethiopia.

2African Highlands Initiative, World Agroforestry Center, P. O. Box 26416, Kampala, Uganda.

*Corresponding author. Email: waga966@yahoo.com. Tel: +251-911793014. Fax: +251-462200084.

Accepted 2 August, 2013

Abstract

Collective action was initiated to manage soil and water conservation in Gununo watershed in southern Ethiopia. General problem exploration was conducted initially and issues requiring collective action were identified through group discussion and community meeting. Similarly local institution that could effectively lead the collective action was selected and collective action was run for two seasons (2005 and 2006). The conservation measures implemented were soil bund and fanya juu on which elephant grass and banana were planted as bund-stabilizer. Group and individual interviews were used to assess farmers’ perceptions on the benefits of the measures taken. Participatory monitoring and evaluation was conducted at different stages of the implementations. Descriptive analysis was used to interpret the results. Close to ten kilometer length of structures were constructed in the two seasons. Farmers also adopted and constructed additional length of soil conservation structures individually and also planted additional bund-stabilizer. The soil condition was improved and crop productivity increased within short period. In general, farmers’ participation in decision making and integration of feed and food crops with soil conservation structures as soil bund stabilizer increased adoption of soil conservation exercise. However, the achievements were associated with challenges mainly attached to dependency of farmers to food-for-work.

Key words: Bund stabilizer, collective action, fanya juu, local institution, soil and water conservation.