The 40% of the land on the Earth is covered by different types of forest and is a home to more than 70 percent of plants and animals (Gebrehiwot, 2003). The 72.5 percent of the country`s land is intact with forest cover, that provides home for diverse fauna and endowed with various natural resources to feed our population and the world.
The geometric growth in population has been exerting immense pressure to the natural environment. With more people living in a particular area, the ecological footprint in the area increases overshooting the carrying capacity. When the population in the area increases, increased destruction to natural environments, land fragmentation and forest degradation occurs.
Accordingly there has been mass land degradation and landslide in many geogs in Trashigang Dzongkhag. Thrimshing geog is one of the most affected geogs under Trashigang Dzongkhag. To overcome the land degradation problems in the geog many methods of land management practices have been carried out. Many researches and reports have stated that sustainable land management method to be implemented to protect the soil erosion. As per one of the report, the stone check dam construction was found appropriate technology to enhance productivity and better adapted to local conditions (Kassie et al, 2008).
The stone check dam construction at Kharshing Yee in Phegpari village under Thrimshing geog supported by sustainable land management project (SLMP) is one of the successful land management programs in Thrimshing. Within short period of time huge landslide area was replenished back with good forest cover.
Among many land management activities carried out by SLMC at Thrimshing geog, stone check dam was found most appropriate tools to control soil erosion and landslides. The advantage of stone check dams are as follows:
- Inexpensive and easy to install
- Reduce velocity and may provide aeration of the water.
- Check dams prevent gully erosion from occurring before vegetation is established, and also cause a high proportion of the sediment load in runoff to settle out.
- In some cases, if carefully located and designed, these check dams can remain as permanent installations with very minor regrading, etc.
- 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 degradations and soil erosions. 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 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.
Contributed by Tshering Dorji, Gewog Forest Officer, RNR-center Thrimshing, Trashigang
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