Performance Evaluation of Constructed Bench Terraces in Southern Zone of Tigray Region

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Tuemay Tassew
Abadi Gidey
Gebru Eyasu


In the varying climate and weather environments and fast-growing population, the production of feed that could meet the demand of this ever-growing population will be challenging with limited land, soil, and water resources. In many developing countries, terraces have been constructed in sloppy, hilly and valley areas to rectify their shortage of cultivated land and severe water erosion problems to meet livelihood demands. In the southern zone of Tigray region, various labor-intensive bench terraces (BTs) have been constructed and are on the way of construction. Despite its coverage and labor intensiveness, these terraces are facing problems such as malfunctioning and collapse of structures leading to unsustainability, unproductiveness and additional labor and material costs. Thus, this study was designed to identify the basis of the above-mentioned problems and to put real solutions for the problems. A multi-disciplinary evaluation of BTs from natural resources and socioeconomic researchers was conducted to identify observational gaps in the stability and sustainability of the terraces and to put ways forward. Technical assessment and measurement of BTs were conducted onsite to evaluate and compare the specification with the recommended specification. Inappropriate site selection, water scarcity, free-grazing and neglected maintenance, poor buffer zone, and stone placement were directly or indirectly major reasons for the failure of bench terrace (BT) structures. Most of the BTs were not supported with biological soil and water conservation materials. Site selection and technical standards of BTs should be done based on recommended specifications with continuous follow-up.

Bench terrace, cultivable land, evaluation, malfunctioning, stability, standard.

Article Details

How to Cite
Tassew, T., Gidey, A., & Eyasu, G. (2019). Performance Evaluation of Constructed Bench Terraces in Southern Zone of Tigray Region. Asian Journal of Environment & Ecology, 10(4), 1-9.
Original Research Article


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