The purpose of this paper was to evaluate technical conformity of bench terraces in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. A sample of 180 actual bench terraces from 12 sites located in this Province was tested against technical standards and models provided for by the Ministry of Agriculture of Rwanda and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The results showed that many sites have been constructed with no consideration of these technical guidelines. Terraces were built on land slopes lower or higher than standards while terrace riser slopes above 90% and height above 2.9 m were frequent. Findings indicated weak correlation coefficient (r=0.314), although very significant, between field-measured and Agriculture Organization model-computed vertical intervals, and very weak but significant correlation coefficient (r = 0.194) between terrace measured and model-derived widths. In such circumstances, land terracing might have increased risks of landslide and erosion with no sustainable benefit for soil erosion control and crop production.
Key words: Bench terraces, soil erosion, technical efficacy, Eastern province.
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