A land suitability system for spate irrigation schemes in Eritrea

M.H. Tesfai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Spate irrigation is a system used for wetting land prior to planting. Use is made of seasonal rivers (wadis) producing flash floods in the uplands, which are directed by structures to irrigate fields in the lowlands. A land suitability system for spate irrigation schemes in Eritrea was studied in the Sheeb area of Eritrea with and without land improvements. The availability of floods and soil moisture were the major land use requirements for spate-irrigated sorghum and maize, while salinity hazard has only a minor effect in spate irrigation systems. The suitable land for spate irrigation in the Sheeb area is distributed as follows: 16% is highly to moderately suitable, 24% is moderately suitable and 17% is marginally suitable. About 40% of the study area was found to be currently unsuitable for spate irrigation mainly due to a lack of floodwater and poor soils. With improvements to the spate irrigation system, such as construction of permanent flood diversion structures, the area of land suitable for spate irrigation will expand. The land suitability system presented in this study could be applied in other spate irrigation schemes of Eritrea and perhaps in other countries also
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-78
JournalSoil Use and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A land suitability system for spate irrigation schemes in Eritrea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this