Full Title: Traditional Spate Irrigation Practices in Raya Valley, Tigray, Ethiopia (The Guguf and Wejig Wadis)
“Floods are not always a hazard. They may also sustain aquatic life and riverine biodiversity, recharge aquifers, enrich soilds and in some of the world’s poorest areas they are the main source of irrigation.” — Global Water Partnership (2000) ‘Toward water security: a framework for action.
Spate irrigation is the art and science of managing floods for irrigation. It is unique to arid and semi-arid environments, found in the Middle East, North Africa, West Asia, East Africa and parts of Latin America.
Large parts of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray and Afar regional states are arid/ semi-arid. The annual floods there are crucial to irrigation and agricultural output. This video depicts how spate irrigation structures in the region work, and some of the activities that go into their maintenance during the off season.