Community-based Watershed Research in the Terraced Mountains of Yemen
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Adriana Bruggeman, Aden A. Aw-Hassan, Abdul Rashid Yassin Ebrahim. (4/1/2005). Community-based Watershed Research in the Terraced Mountains of Yemen. Jerba, Tunisia.
The threat that the degradation of terraces in the highlands of Yemen poses to the livelihood of rural households and to national economic development has been widely recognized. The aim of this study was to contribute to the development of policy recommendations for the improvement of the life of rural families in the Yemeni mountains. Three small mountain watersheds (200-700 ha) in the northern, middle and southern mountain regions of Yemen were selected as the testing grounds for this study. Four interrelated issues that affect these mountain systems were analyzed and evaluated in cooperation with the various stakeholders: natural resources and their management; rural livelihood strategies; community-based participatory agricultural research; and policies and institutional issues. The terraces in the study watersheds were found to be generally well maintained because of a lack of other resources and opportunities. Water was a key issue in these mountain watersheds. Communal water-harvesting reservoirs, springs, and occasionally shallow wells in or near the main wadi, served the household water needs of the communities. During the dry season women and kids walked long distances to collect water from the few remaining sources. The livelihoods strategies of the communities in the study watersheds were diverse, with a large percentage of the households receiving incomes and remittances from jobs in towns (32%) or abroad (3%). On average, 39% of the households were perceived to be poor or very poor. Community-based participatory research is essential for tackling the crop and livestock production problems and options in these complex mountain agro-ecologies. Government support programs need to be restructured and the capacity of these communities need to be built to enable them to organize themselves and access the needed support to improve their own livelihoods.
Aw-Hassan, Aden A.https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9236-4949