The view from a small corner of the island..
Contact Harvest Your Rain Home

Debra Kidan


This catchment is 10km south of Hawzen which is 100 km north of Mekelle. DCI has been working with the BoA to construct wells and groundwater recharge structures in the area.

There are 1740 people in the catchment area. The average household size falls between 4-6. There are 520 households in the watershed out of which 236 of them are headed by men and 284 of them by women. Out of the total population 837 are males and 903 are females.

Land use
The watershed is 901 ha., out of which 248 ha are arable, 72 ha. grazing, 67 ha., covered by trees and bushes, 89 ha., treated with plantation, 425 ha. is degraded land which was once forest. The average size of holding is 0.69 ha. The following are among the commonly grown crops in the watershed: Teff, Finger millet, Sorghum, Wheat, Barley, beans, maize. Among the domestic animals that are useful in their livelihood the following are dominant in the Tabia including the catchment area: cattle (2680), sheep and goats (3000), donkey (1050), and mules (11).

Topography and Geology
This catchment is easily defined. It is bound to the north east and east by a high plateau (2310 m) and to the south by large mesas made of sandstone interbedded with limestone know as Gulsh and Tseadago. To the north there is a low and indistinct rolling ridge. Elevation ranges from 2451 m on the Gulsh ridge, to 2060 m at the outlet. The geology is complex the surrounding hills are made up of reddish interbedded limestone and sandstone, but underlying this is a yellow grey limestone. Within the project area there are igneous intrusions: pyroclastic bombs, granites and rhyolites were also found on the soil surface. The soils are sandy, either resulting from erosion of sandstone or volcanic ash deposits, and are thick in the lowland parts of the catchment.


There is a meteorological station at Hawzen that has been in operation for 5 years. Rainfall is unimodal and erratic, averaging 479 mm/yr from the last 5 years rainfall data. The Extention agents assess drought occurrence happening once every 2 years although the rainfall record for the past 5 years for Hawzen does not
support this. The average temperature is 21°c.

Year (international)
Year (Ethiopian)
Annual Rainfall (mm)

Hydrological features
There is evidence of river channels and gulleying which in places has been checked. It is not until just before the exit of the catchment that permanent surface water is found.

Rainfall June 2004-Feb 2005

Rainfall for June 2004 - Feb 2005 ranged from 230mm -415mm showing that there was considerable variation rainfall across the catchment. Crop yields did not seem to be affected by the lack of rain.

Copyright © Martin Hollingham