Demi-Lunes

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Created on 12 February 2013
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Full title: Sustainable Land Management in Sub-Saharan Africa_ No 7. Demi-lunes

Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa is constrained by highly variable rainfall, frequent droughts and low water productivity. There is an urgent need for better management of water on farmers' fields - and for increasing its availability through water harvesting.

These mini-films show a series of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices that have been proven in Sub-Saharan Africa. As well as helping to control land degradation and improve production, the practices constitute important components within the climate change adaptation strategies of small-scale farmers. An analytical conclusion is also included.

The director and script-writer, William Critchley, Senior Sustainable Land Management Specialist at the Centre for International Cooperation, VU University of Amsterdam, reviews development experience, and sets out the state of the art in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Demi-lunes (half-moons) are earth (or stone) embankments in the shape of a semi-circle with the tips of the bunds on the contour and they can be constructed in a variety of sizes. The principle is to capture water from within the field. This technique helps to increase soil fertility by concentrating nutrients within the field when compost is added and sediment captured from overland flow. Demi-lunes are best on slopes of 2 per cent or less. Otherwise earthwork volumes rise considerably (the bund will be higher at the lower part) and water is distributed less evenly.

More info: Information Cards: Sustainable Land Management in Sub-Saharan Africa 
Directed and scripted by: William Critchley (VU University)
Produced by: Josephine Rogers (Countrywise Communication)
Year: 2012
Language: English

 

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