Plant and Environmental Sciences
Land degradation causes environmental problems
In Ethiopia, land and soil degradation causes major environmental problems, as well as problems in the agriculture. In order to limit and restore the damages, the authorities have, since 1991, implemented massive measures. However, as pr today, one knows little about the effects of these measures.
Girmay G. Abraha's thesis, which is entitled, ’Land Use Change Effects in Northern Ethiopia: Runoff, Soil and Nutrient Losses, Soil Quality and Sediments as Nutrient Sources' will provide more information on these measures. He will defend his thesis at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) on 19th of June.
Girmay G. Abraha's thesis will have a great significance in Ethiopia, a country which faces great problems related to land and soil degradation and hence reduced soil quality.
Photo: Even Bretberg
Land use changes.
The objective of Girmay G. Abraha's study were to describe the magnitude of land use/cover changes in an area of Ethiopia between 1964-2006, by interpretation and analysis of maps, aerial photographs and ground survey. Based on these data he has studied what effect these changes have had on runoff and soil quality. Additionally, he has measured soil, humus and nutrient losses and evaluated the potential use of reservoir sediment as nutrient source for oligotrophic soil. Results.
In conclusion, these investigations revealed that land use changes affects many aspects of soil properties, runoff and nutrient losses and hence soil quality. Area exclosures of degraded soils had a positive impact on the soil quality by increasing the soil organic stock, whereas Eucalyptus plantation had the opposite effect. Use of sediment and manure is an option for restoring the soil fertility of degraded soils and will also result in a significant increase in crop yield. Girmay G. Abraha
(36) is from Mekelle, Ethiopia. He graduated with M.Sc in Soil and Water from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, in 2002. He started his work here in 2005 with a quota fellowship and the research was funded by the Mekelle University, Ethiopia. After finishing his Ph.D, he will return to his position at the Mekelle University, Ethiopia, to implement his findings into practice. Main supervisor for the doctorate degree has been Professor Bal Ram Singh, UMB.
Photo: Trygve Berg
Updated: 18.06.09Printerfriendly version
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