Participatory agent-based modelling for sustainable watershed management in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia

Heban, Samuel Assefa


This study gives insight into the Campaign-Based Watershed Management program of Ethiopia and explores strategies that ensure more sustainable impact in three Kebeles (villages) of Boset District, using a Participatory Agent-Based Modelling approach. The results show that the program is successful in terms of the construction of Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) structures on a large area with a low cost in a short period of time. However, the program has a number of limitations, including a top-down planning and implementation approach, low awareness and motivation of farmers, poor commitment of local government actors, focus on the construction of SWC structures giving less attention to rural livelihoods, and little attention to the maintenance of SWC structures. In order to tackle these limitations, the study suggests the need to implement a participatory integrated watershed management approach in the CBWM program, by focusing on locally sensitive community empowerment schemes.