Project properties

Title Assessing soil and water related risks with GIS in 5 watersheds in Burundi
Group Soil Physics and Land Management group
Project type thesis
Credits 24-39
Supervisor(s) Aad Kessler
Examiner(s) Coen Ritsema
Contact info aad.kessler@wur.nl
Begin date 2021/05/25
End date
Description Burundi is among the poorest countries in the world, with 58 per cent of its inhabitants living on less than a dollar per day. In order to improve food security, a project to boost communal fish farming is under development in 5 provinces of the country, looking for more integrated and diverse farming (using the PIP approach), increased income for the rural poor from fish production for the market, and better health conditions of the population due to a more diverse diet.

However, the development of fish farming activities are subject to several environmental constraints, especially related to the watershed upstream of the fish ponds. The degradation and exhaustion of soils in these watersheds, degradation of forestry resources and human environmental degradation could result in extreme floods or in a deterioration of the water quality in the fish ponds, making fish farm activities more vulnerable.

Research Objective/Question
�What are the main current and future risks in the 5 watersheds (i.e. degradation hotspots, over-exploited areas, etc.) that might affect the fish farm activities, and where are these located within the watersheds?
�What good soil and water management practises or other solutions could be implemented at watershed level to mitigate the risks, and what would be the effect on mitigating the identified risks?

What is expected from the student (type of research)

In this desk research study, the student should be able to develop a detailed soil-water assessment at watershed level, identifying and locating the main current and future risks for the fish farm activity (e.g. erosion risk maps). The student will also asses how good soil and water management practices could mitigate them, e.g. by means of a model and using RS and land use data, creating a set of maps for prioritizing interventions at the watershed level.
Used skills
Requirements good skills in GIS and geo-data analysis