Mahabesh Community Watershed Management Project
Mahabesh Community Watershed Management Project
Mahabesh is a village within Elabered Sub-region of Anseba Regional Administration. It is located 20 km south east of Keren town and 73 km south west of Asmara, the capital. The surrounding of Mahabesh village is hilly landscape and lies within the range of 1600 - 2600 meters above sea level with average annual rainfall of 600 mm. Plant biodiversity currently available in Mahabesh Landscape is an important source of livelihoods. The inhabitants of the village have major land degradation and biodiversity challenges. Due to the hilly nature of the landscape surrounding the village and its farmland, soil erosion during the rainy season is tremendous and thus this cause dumping off the farm land situated at the bottom of the hills and reduces the size of existing farmland and depletes the nutrients necessary for the crops. Therefore, the biodiversity in this landscape is highly threatened. The overall goal of the project is to contribute towards improved conservation of biodiversity and rehabilitation of degraded land and ensuring sustainable community livelihood improvement. The specific objective of the project will be strengthening the technical and institutional capacities of local environmental actors and undertake appropriate natural resources conservation and rehabilitation measures in 50 ha of degraded land in Mahabesh Village Administration area. The mode of project implementation is by empowering the local community through awareness raising, training and practice and decentralization of all activities to watershed level in order to achieve improvements in key areas of environmental problems that affect their livelihoods. It also intends to address other associated environmental problems such as land degradation, climate change as well as reducing problems of siltation, flooding and others through soil and water conservation practices (like composting, communal pasture management, forest establishment, establishment of protected area and establishment of school environment clubs). Consequently, all these interventions are believed to contribute to sustainable land management, conservation of biological diversity in the locality. Project’s duration is 2 years. It will promote sustainable land use practices, including improved agriculture, reforestation and establishment of a protected area for biodiversity conservation in Mahabesh watershed. In order to effectively implement and manage successfully the project, Sub-regional Development Committee has already mobilized members of the local community, set up Kebabi Development Committees, assessed and prioritized the existing problems in the locality, and prepared the project proposal on conserving biodiversity through sustainable land management. Technical capacity building of local actors is a major component of the project that involves project familiarization, formation of work groups, training of local environmental vanguards (Clubs, traditional associations) and small-scale farmers. The Project will undertake community-based Soil and Water Conservation activities within an enclosed area of 50ha, construction of 15km soil bands, 30 Kms hillside terraces, 3000 m3 of check dams, 7,500 micro-basins, 4 ponds of 8000 m3 each. The project needs a total of ERN 2,148,350 or USD 143,223.33. Of which Contribution of GEF/ SGP is USD 49,990.00, Anseba Local Government will parallel co finance ERN 1,009,250 or USD 67,283.33, Mehabesh community contribution is ERN 378,250.00 or USD 25,216.67, and Kebabi Administration will also contribute ERN 11,000.00 or USD 733.33. Though, the overall responsibility and the actual implementation will be the sole responsibility of the Mahabesh Development Committee, other stakeholders will also provide the Mahabesh Development committee with technical and administrative backstopping. The major partners involved are the local community members, Kebabi Administration Office and all relevant line ministries such as Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministry of Land Water and Environment (MoLWE) and the regional government. Mahabesh Development Committee members, soil and water conservation experts from the Branch Ministry of Agriculture and Branch Ministry of Land, Water and Environment, SGP personnel are represented in project monitoring and evaluation process and follow result-based monitoring as per the detail plan presented in the body of this document. The knowledge gained from the project will also be carefully documented and communicated to concerned organizations and offices by Mahabesh Development Committee supported by SGP office. The sustainability of the project results is seriously taken into account by focusing on building the capacity of stakeholders and creating benefit sharing mechanism.


Project Snapshot

Mahabesh Community Development
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,990.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 93,233.33
Project Number:
Currently under execution
Hectares of land sustainably managed by project 50

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Freweini Negash
Mr. Alemseged Moges


Hday street
Asmara, East Africa, 5366
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