BVO Helps Somali Farmers Conserve Soil for a Better Yield

 Soil bund field constructed by BVO , Somaliland/Somalia
Soil bund field constructed by BVO , Somaliland/Somalia

Aiming to control runoff and erosion from cultivation fields, Barwaako Voluntary Organization’s (BVO) and community members in Hargeisa, Hared and Hagal and Haraf of Somaliland/Somalia constructed 25,600 m soil bund in October 2016. BVO, a HoA-REC&N network member organization, also gave training to Somali farmers on soil conservation techniques.

Climate change and land degradation are two of the major challenges in agricultural production in many parts of the Somaliland. BVO undertook the project given the seriousness of the soil erosion problem in these areas of the region. They based their activities on lessons learned from failures of the previous conservation practices.

Around 60 participants, 20 from Hared, Hagal and Haraf, participated in formal and informal training that focused on the soil bund construction.  Soil bund is considered effective in controlling soil loss, in retaining moisture and ultimately enhancing productivity of land. This helps achieve the outcomes of the Horn of Africa Climate Change Programme (HoA-CCP)—HoA-REC&N’s flagship programme, on land restoration through water retention, re-use and recycle. In the long term, it will increase land productivity and address food security in the Horn of Africa.

BVO’s soil conservation strategy is aimed at achieving tangible results and understanding the importance of factors which influence farmers to adopt soil conservation techniques.  Having received the training, 40 smallholder farmers in Hargeisa, Hared, Hagal and Haraf have already started constructing their own soil bunds.

The training and accompanying field demonstration helped the farmers improve their knowledge and understanding of soil erosion, the reasons for decline in soil fertility, and the use of improved soil and water conservation technology. They also improved their skills on using available fertilizer to preserve and improve the fertility of the soil. BVO hopes that these efforts will improve Somalilander livelihoods and help in mitigating climate change challenges.

BVO is a non-political, nongovernmental, and not-for-profit action-oriented development and advocacy organization founded in 1996 by a committed, gender-balanced group in Somaliland. BVO operates mainly in five out of the six regions in Somaliland.