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Wetlands in Drylands: Khor Baraka - A key resource in eastern Sudan and Eritrea

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7322IIED
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This case study from eastern Sudan and Eritrea is Part 3d of the `Wetlands in Drylands' series aimed at providing a broad overview of the role of `valley bottomland’ wetlands in savanna agro-ecosystems in Africa.

The role of spatial heterogeneity and farmers’ and pastoralists’ responses to patchiness is often ignored by researchers, planners and extensionists. The series aimed to map out the key issues and suggested a new way of interpreting savanna agro-ecosystems with important implications for future directions in agricultural and pastoral development in dryland areas.

Khor Baraka and its tributaries are seasonal streams which flow between July and September. The rich alluvial soils provide the best medium of growth for millet and the forest resources for which it is well known. There are major agro-pastoral settlements along Khor Baraka which partly depend on millet farming. During the drought of 1984-85, Khor Baraka was able to support almost double its normal population.

The author, Zeremariam Fre, is a founding member of the Pastoral and Environmental Network inthe Horn of Africa (PENHA). He has worked on veterinary issues among the Beni-Amer of eastern Sudan and Eritrea.

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7322IIED