African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 974

Full Length Research Paper

Land capability analysis and delineation of erosion prone areas in the case of Kulfo Watershed, Abaya Chamo Basin

Teshome Yirgu
  • Teshome Yirgu
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia.
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Yibeltal Yihunie
  • Yibeltal Yihunie
  • Department of Natural Resources Management, College of Agricultural Sciences, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia.
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Alemu Assele
  • Alemu Assele
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia.
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Teklu Wogayehu
  • Teklu Wogayehu
  • Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Arba Minch University, Ethiopia, P. O. Box 21, Arba Minch, Ethiopia.
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  •  Received: 25 February 2020
  •  Accepted: 24 March 2020
  •  Published: 31 March 2020

Abstract

Land is a basic natural resource which is essential for the survival and development of human being, since it supports all kind of livelihood and infrastructure. But due to varying drivers it is under the threat of degradation. Thus, the aim of this research was to analyze the land capability and delineation of erosion prone areas for sustainable watershed management in the case of Kulfo watershed located in the Abaya Chamo basin. Satellite imageries, socio-economic, soil and meteorological data were utilized in the research. Geo-spatial and descriptive statistical techniques were used to map and analyze the research data. The analysis noted that land suitable for cultivation, forest/tree crops and grazing accounted 63.9, 14.6 and 8.8% respectively. Based on spatial distribution of erosion hazards about 74.2% of the watershed falls under severe to high erosion risk category and assigned in the first and second priority list for proper conservation interventions. Additionally, seven capability classes were identified in the area, namely C1, C2, C3, C4, P, F/FT and built up area. Thus, based on the results of erosion severity and land capability classification, 61% area of the watershed was proposed for cropland. In contrast 27.7% is not feasible for cultivation, and such land use/covers can be used either for controlled grazing, wildlife sanctuary, wetland/ riverine forest development and settlement. Finally it is suggested that transforming bare lands and steep terrains into forest and fruit farm could be a viable option to rehabilitate the degraded landscape and thereby support the livelihood of the community in the watershed.

Key words: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), land capability, soil erosion risk, land use plan.