Households’ Participation in Watershed Management in Gonji Kolella District of the Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia

Arega Bazezew, Abebe Worku


Land and water degradation threaten food security for many of the poorest and most food insecure living in South Asia, Africa and Latin America. Local community participation in watershed management is critical to minimize and to prevent environmental degradation in a sustainable manner. Hence, this study examined households’ participation in watershed management practices in Zema watershed, Gonji Kolela district of the Amhara National Regional Sate, Ethiopia. The researchers employed mixed methods research design for the study. Simple random sampling method was used to select the two rural kebele administrations for the study. A total of 180 households were sampled using proportional stratified systematic sampling technique. Key informant interview, survey questionnaire and non-participant observation were the primary data collection instruments for the study. Descriptive and inferential statistics were employed to sort and analyze the data. Binary logistic regression model was employed to identify variables affecting households’ participation in watershed management. The study showed that about 51% of the respondents participated in integrated watershed management practices. Terracing, area enclosure, and soil and stone bunds were imperative watershed structures in the study area. The study revealed that watershed management activities are important source of income, enable better utilization of natural resources, create employment opportunity, and increase productivity. The binary logistic regression result indicated that agro ecological zone, farm size, sex of household heads, trainings and distance of farmland from the homestead were determinant factors for households’ participation in watershed management. The study found out that the efforts made to construct watershed management and the results obtained so far were not encouraging. This is due to the limited awareness of the farmers about the project mandate, and from lack of trust in xy and frustration of farmers that it consumes their farmland. The study recommended policy makers and local governments to give due attention in changing the behavior of the farmers through continuous trainings for the sustainable use of the watershed management. More importantly, farmers have to be empowered in planning and decision making to develop a sense of ownership rather than urging top down approach.  


Households; participation; watershed management; Gonji Kolela district

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