Introduction of Holistic Landscape Management in SNNPR, Ethiopia



Project Implementer: Mendel University in Brno

Donor: Czech Development Cooperation

Implementation period: 2019-2020


Major problems in southern Ethiopia include unsustainable land management, soil erosion and the risk of desertification. Poor management, mainly due to deforestation, stripping of slopes by grazing and subsequent erosion, has resulted in overall environmental degradation and landscape degradation. The level of environmental degradation in Ethiopia is a serious impediment to economic and social development. Recurrent droughts, extreme climatic events, population pressure and unsustainable management are contributing to the current situation.

In the Arba Minch district, soil erosion is leading to the exposure of hillsides that, without vegetation cover, are unable to absorb rainwater. The resulting surface runoff damages irrigation systems and floods the land in the agricultural area at the foot of the slopes. Runoff results in drying out of pastures, soil erosion and subsequent localised flooding caused by heavy rainfall. These floods regularly destroy the cultivated areas used to produce fruit and other crops and the structural systems used to irrigate them. Large-scale irrigation farms are expanding in the area, threatening water resources and degrading the catchment area.


The aim of the project was to provide rural people with secure access to food resources by reducing the negative impacts of climate variability and inappropriate management of natural resources in Arba Minch Zuria district through soil erosion control, afforestation, water retention in the landscape, promoting diversification of cultivated and planted tree species, increasing biodiversity and creating habitat for animal species.


HS team focused primarily on the technical design of a solar dryer for processing the produce, which could be produced cleanly on site from available materials. Subsequently, with local artisans, this dryer was built and further used as a prototype during the training.

Furthermore, the company was involved in awareness-raising activities in the field of good soil management and the Climate Smart Agriculture concept, in the field of fruit preservation adapted to the local conditions or, for example, in the field of anti-erosion activities.

HS team also carried out various trainings related to increasing the competitiveness of local production groups and focused on water management structures and home multifunctional gardens.