Horn of Africa

Horn of Afrcia

Degraded soils, recurring droughts, and internal conflicts pose major challenges to the people of the Horn of Africa. The eastern part of the Nile in the Ethiopian highlands, for example, contributes 85% of the entire Nile water flow. But this crucial ecosystem is being damaged by serious soil degradation. This jeopardizes the livelihoods of millions of Ethiopians and increasingly threatens populations in neighbouring countries. The sediment flows triggered by soil degradation cause damage to water reservoirs, irrigation systems, and hydropower stations. Given Ethiopians’ high dependence on subsistence farming and the role of the highlands as a major supplier of agricultural products and water, the fight against soil degradation represents a decisive measure towards sustainable development in the region.

Research focuses

CDE researchers and their local partners generate sound scientific data and information on water management, land management, and water diplomacy. In the context of this work, they develop human and institutional capacity in environmental fields and foster dialogue with policymakers and society. Though the Ethiopian highlands are emphasized in our research, the entire Nile basin is included because it forms a connected socio-economic system.

  • Isabelle Providoli, Senior Research Scientist, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Gete Zeleke, Director, Water and Land Resources Centre (WLRC), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia