Performance Assessment of Erosion Remediation Measures and Proposal of The Best Management Practices for Erosion Control in Sebeya Catchment, Rwanda
Soil erosion is an environmental concern that affects agriculture, wildlife and water bodies. Soil erosion can be avoided by maintaining a protective cover on the soil to create a barrier to the erosive agent or by modifying the landscape to control runoff amounts and rates. This research is focused on Sebeya catchment located in the Western Province of Rwanda. Sebeya catchment is one of the most affected areas by soil erosion hazards causing loss of crops due to the destruction of agricultural plots or riverbanks, river sedimentation and damages to the existing water treatment and hydropower plants in the downstream part of the river. The aims of this research were to assess the performance of erosion remediation measures and to propose the Best Management Practices (BMPs) for erosion control in Sebeya catchment. Using literature review, site visits, questionnaire and interviews, various erosion control measures were analyzed in terms of performance and suitability. Land slope and soil depth maps were generated using ArcGIS software. The interview results indicated that among the 22 existing soil erosion control measures, about 4.57% of farmers confirmed their existence while 95.43% expressed the need of their implementation in Sebeya catchment. Furthermore, economic constraints were found to be the main limitative factors against the implementation of soil erosion control measures in Sebeya catchment. Also, the majority of farmers suggest trainings and mobilization of a specialized technical team to assist them in implementing soil conservation measures and to generalize the application of fertilizers in the whole catchment. Finally, soil erosion control measures including agro-forestry, terraces, mulching, tree planting, contour bunds, vegetative measures for slopes and buffer zones, check dams, riverbanks stabilization were proposed and recommended to be implemented in Sebeya catchment.
Keywords: Erosion control measures, Sebeya catchment, Rwanda