Vanishing Land and Water
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CTA. 1989. Vanishing Land and Water . Spore 19. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45000
Vanishing Land and Water Soil and water conservation in dry lands, by Jean-Louis Chleq and Hugues Dupriez in the series Terres et Vie (Land and Life) by Macmillans Terres et Vie - 13 Rue Laurent Delvaux - 1400 Nivelles Belgium
The eternal cycle of sporadic and Va eternal cycle of sporadic intense rainfall, run-off, and desertification in semi-arid zones brings with it an increasing toll in human hardship and misery, resulting in the ultimate choice between exodus or starvation. Man must struggle against this fate. The sub-Saharan African cannot change the weather pattern, but he can learn and practise the conservation of rainwater and the land on which it falls. Further, he can use the precipitation for irrigation, for storage against drought, and for the provision of work in the villages after the rainy season. These water management techniques are the subject of << Vanishing Land and Water Soil and water conservation in dry lands>>, by Jean-Louis Chleq and Hugues Dupriez in the series Terres et Vie (Land and Life) by Macmillans. CTA has financed the translation of the book into English (by Bridaine O'Meara), and has promoted its distribution. The book, inspired by village schemes in Sahelian Burkina Faso, examines techniques which are not expensive in terms of equipment and supplies, which respond directly to the water needs of agriculture and livestock, and which are efficient in bringing life to these regions across subSaharan Africa. Furthermore, building smallscale dams, inaugurating bore holes, organizing anti-erosion campaigns, excavating ponds for surface water storage, apportioning off-season water supplies, constructing gabions and cast-linings for well shafts, all provide employment and increase artisanal skills Vanishing Land and Water describes, sometimes in considerable technical detail, schemes that are on-going, which can be developed and improved by local inhabitants. it urges cooperation between all concerned - water technicians and all who serve to use creatively and effectively what the elements bring - cooperate. Starting from the definition of terminology, this publication examines in Part I the hydrological cycle and the sources of soil, and proceeds to look closely in Part II at the mechanisms of erosion when the two elements - water and earth - meet in adverse conditions. Part II is devoted to erosion control to save villages - by eliminating both run-off in fields, and gullies and small streams. Practical detail abounds on the construction of barriers, dams, gabions, and so on. The rest of the book continues logically from the conservation of water to its storage and extraction from the ground by well-sinking, bores, by scoops and pumps, and the sources of energy needed for lifting water. A chapter is given over to surface water storage in traditional ponds called boulis Finally, the authors state their concern over the lack of development of water supplies and technology in semi-arid regions. There are still many communities where farming is in trouble because of lack of water, where people are ill because of drinking polluted water, and where people are so inwardlooking because of their many problems that intercommunication is rare. This book suggests concrete ways in which those interested and involved in water supplies and technology (villagers and craftsmen, headsmen and local government officials, government technical and training departments, and funding agencies) can work together for the benefit of all Vanishing Land and Water should prove an invaluable tool in the simplicity of its message, the clarity of its lay-out, and the practicalitiy of its instructions, diagrams, and illustrations. Its potential impact has been more than doubled now that it is available in English as well as French. Available from: Terres et Vie - 13 Rue Laurent Delvaux - 1400 Nivelles Belgium