Stone dam effective in combating land degradation

A Thrimshing RNR project under the Ministry of Agrculture and Forests (MoAF) found that the best way to combat land degradation was by using stone check dams.

Tshering Dorji the Gewog Forest Officer in his report said there has been mass land degradation and landslide in many gewogs in Trashigang Dzongkhag. Thrimshing gewog is one of the most affected geogs under Trashigang Dzongkhag. To overcome the land degradation problems in the gewog many methods of land management practices have been carried out.

He pointed out that many research papers and reports have stated various sustainable land management methods to be implemented to protect the soil erosion. As per one report, the stone check dam construction was found to be an appropriate technology to enhance productivity and can adapt better to local conditions.

The stone check dam construction at Kharshing Yee in Phegpari village under Thrimshing gewog supported by sustainable land management project (SLMP) is one of the successful land management programs in Thrimshing. Within a short period of time a huge landslide area was replenished back with good forest cover.

Among many land management activities carried out by SLMC at Thrimshing geog, the stone check dam was found most appropriate tools to control soil erosion and landslides. The advantage of stone check dams are they are inexpensive and easy to install, reduces velocity and may provide aeration of water, prevents gully erosion from occurring before vegetation is established and also cause a high proportion of the sediment load in the runoff to settle out.

Check dams in some cases, if carefully located and designed, can remain as permanent installations with very minor regarding and they may be left as either  spillway, in which case accumulated sediment would be graded and seeded, or as check dams to capture sediment coming off that site.

With support from Sustainable Land Management Campaign (SLMC) the landslide area was improved and regained from land degradation and soil erosion.

Beside construction of stone check dams other activities like planting of bamboos and stem cuttings were carried out in landslide areas. The activities executed were all good measures but stone check dams were found more appropriate solution for protection of landslides. Finally, the landslide area was regained for forest cover and ground water recharge capacity was improved. This area is one of the SLM activities carried out in Thrimshing gewog among many others.


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