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conducted an Integrated Land Use Plan (ILUP) projects in Oromia, Somali, Gambela and Afar Regional State. Currently, ECO is the only governmental organization in undertaking of an Integrated Land Use Planning projects, and having qualified professionals and equipment in the country for the last fifteen (15) years.


1. Background

The enormous and all-rounded Growth and Development of the Country in particular and East Africa in general demands highly qualified Organizations and associated personnel. In line with this, the former “Oromia Water Works Design and Supervision Enterprise” (OWWDSE), has restructured itself to Engineering Corporation of Oromia (ECO) in 2020 in order to gratify its vision and mission (to be a competent organization in East Africa). This structure comprises three operational Divisions, two operational Directorates, and three Supportive Directorates. The Integrated Land Use Planning and Environmental Study Directorate is therefore one of the two Operational Directorates of ECO. Our directorate has so far conducted Integrated Land Use Plan ( ILUP ) projects in Oromia, Somali, Gambela and Afar Regional States. Currently, we can assertively say that ECO is the only government organization that undertakes Integrated Land Use Planning projects and has qualified professionals and equipment in the country for the past 15 years.

2. Clients/Partners

During our dealings, the Oromia Land Administration and Use Bureau; Oromia Pastoral Commission and Oromia Environment; Forest and Climate Change Authority are our major Clients where we have conducted / conducting more than 11 mega projects in harmony in the last 15 years. Also, we have been working with the Ministry of Agriculture, Somali Regional State, and Amhara Design and Supervision Enterprise as clients and partners too.

3. Major Activities of the Directorate

The major activities of this Directorate are:

  • Conducting Integrated Land Use Planning in the Oromia Region and other regions of the country.
  • Conducting Socio-economic studies of various projects
  • Conduct Social & Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) of different undergoing projects comprise

4. Man Power

The Directorate is organized in Land Use Plan Study and Socio-Economic and Environmental Study Teams. The Land Use Plan and Environmental Study Directorate have more than 62 professionals comprising Phd, MSc & BSc level of Education. Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of ILUP, these experts are composed of more than 18 in terms of their professional backgrounds.

5. Planning Approach

The methodological approach employed for the land use planning study project is sub-basin approach. In addition, integrated and holistic approach to land use planning were employed that combine all the biophysical, social, economical and environmental factors, i.e., holistic and multi sectoral issues considered and all stakeholders are involved from the outset stage up to the final land use plan preparation. Our land use planning process and approach is based on FAO guidelines published at various time and is FAO standard.

6. Planning Process

Series of steps like identification of issues, opportunities, and constraints (and formulation of objectives), inventory of data and information collection (studying the framework condition for land use plan), analysis of resources and evaluating for specific use, formulation of alternative options, evaluation of alternatives, selection of preferred alternative(s), preparation of the draft land use plan document, stakeholders consultation, preparation of a final integrated land use plan document will be thoroughly followed during planning.

7. ILUP Projects Conducted by ECO In Oromia, Somali, Afar and Gambela Region


No Name of the projects Area/ha Region
1 Borena zone 6,393,688 Oromia
2 East& west Harghe 4337800 Oromia
3 Oromia special S Zone 490520 Oromia
4 Dhedhesa -Dabus Sub Basin ILUPP 3584968 Oromia
5 Uppert Awash Sub Basin ILUPP 1993700 Oromia
6 Guji-Bale Sub Basin ILUPP 9923580.92 Oromia
7 Baro Sub Basin ILUPP 2665834 Oromia
8 Gudar-Abay Sub Basin ILUPP 2418061 Oromia
9 Gibe Sub Basin ILUPP 2056398 Oromia
10 Wabe-Genale-Rift Valley Sub Basin ILUPP 3,158,393 Oromia
11 Erer-Denbel Sub Basin ILUPP 3,380,000 Somali
12 Genale Dawa Sub Basin ILUPP 3,400,000 Somali
13 Uper Fafen Sub Basin ILUPP 367,971 Somali
14 Gilo Sub Basin ILUPP 650,000 Gambella
15 Middle Awash Sub Basin ILUPP 1,510,800 Afar

8. Major Components of the Study 

8.1, Soil Survey

Major Activities

  • Determination of Soil Chemical Conditions
  • Determination of Soil Physical Condition
  • Soil Classification
  • Determination of Soil Workability.
Guder Abay Subbasin Major Soil Map

8.2, Agro-climate

Major Activities

  • Determination of Thermal Zones
  • Determination of Length of Growing Period
  • Determination of Agro-Climatic Zones Maps
  • Determination of Frost Hazard Assessment
Agro-climate map for Guder Abay sub watershed

8.3 Hydrology Hydrogeology

Major Activities Tackled

  • Delineate all the main sub-basins of the drainage system in the study area.
  • Estimation of surface runoff and groundwater recharge using swat model
  • Estimation of the various water balance components of the sub basin, such as evapotranspiration surface runoff, precipitation, etc. on monthly bases,
  • Analysis and interpretation hydro-meteorological data and carry out formulation and catchment water balance analysis for sub basins.
  • Groundwater recharge and runoff quantification.
  • Conduct groundwater investigation
  • Delineate potential groundwater zones.
  • Groundwater Quality Assessment
  • Aquifer characterization and mapping
Groundwater Potential Zones Map of Baro sub-basin

8.4 Land Use Land Cover And Change Detection

Major Activities

  • Land Use type
  • Land cover
  • Change Detection
Land use and land cover maps of the years 2014, 2001, and 1986

8.5 Livestock  Production and Rangeland Assessment

Major Activities

  • Livestock feed Resource Assessment
  • Rangeland Condition Assessment Parameters
  • Livestock health
  • Rangeland and Livestock Production Constraints

8.6 Agronomy

Major Activities Tackled Here

  • The existing Land Use Farming Systems
  • Production Systems
  • Rain-fed Cropping
  • Irrigated cropping
  • Cropping Pattern – Rainfed + Irrigated
  • Agronomic practices(seedbed preparation to harvesting)
  • Agricultural input supply
  • Research and extension
  • Crop yields

8.7 Land Degradation, Erosion Hazard Assessment

Major Activities

  • Identify the extent of land degradation in the sub-basins.
  • Identify the major causes of types of land degradation in the sub-basins
  • Assessing the major causes of land degradation in the Sub basins
  • prepare potential and actual soil erosion hazard maps using GIS technologies
  • Evaluation of some existing mitigation measures and proposed measures to correct land degradation and erosion hazards in different slopes, land uses, and Agro-ecological zones.

    8.8 Forestry, Wildlife Conservation, And Ecotourism

    Major Activities

    • Conducting a study on forest resources, their existing and potential in project areas to identify forest composition, type, and structure;
    • Conducting a study on Wildlife resource potential of the project area to identify Wildlife abundance, species diversity, and habitat requirements;
    • Carry out the assessment of existing and potential eco-tourism areas in the sub-basin;
    • Identify potential and constraints related to existing forestry and wildlife resource bases 
    • Establishing suitability analysis to forest land in the project area;
    • Conducting forest and wildlife management options related to the identified study area
    • Identify existing and proposed Forest and Wildlife Conservation areas in the identified study area.
    • Conducting appropriate recommendations on the best ways to solve constraints identified in the study area.

    8.9 Land Evaluation

    • Selection/Determination of land utilization type
    • Determination of land quality land characteristics
    • Land suitability evaluation
    Overall Potential Suitability of Crops under Reified Production system

    8.10 Socioeconomic Study

    • Investigation of the current socio-economic conditions of the area and
    • Identifying potential and major constraints and development intervention areas of the rural community in particular for land use planning.
    • Identify and describe the major socioeconomic aspects (demographic characteristics, livelihood forms, social services, infrastructures and institutions, etc.;)
    • Identifying major development potential and constraints regarding the livelihood of the people in the area;
    • Examining the general attitude of the community towards appropriate land use plan for development interventions to be implemented in the study area
    • Forward the necessary planning proposals that can help to design feasible development interventions in the study area.
    Community Consultation at Guji-Bale ILUP Project

    8.11 Proposed Land Use Plan

    Major Activities

    • Identify issues, opportunities and constraints that have the potential to influence land management and resource development;
    • Produce an integrated land-use plan that considers biophysical, socioeconomic that meet the interests of the Government Development Program.

    Propose land management options/actions on the basis of an inventory of land resources and an evaluation of limitations and potentials.

    Wabe-Genale-Rift Valley Land Use Plan Map

    8.12 Strategic Environmental Assessment

    Major Activities

    • Review the existing policy and legal framework pertinent to the proposed plan
    • Assessment and analysis of environmental issues of present land use of the sub basin
    • Identification and analysis of environmental problems arise from land use plans.
    • Prediction of impacts of the proposed land use plan on Bio-physical, Socio-economy and Culture of the area.
    • Determination of and propose possible alternatives to mitigate adverse impacts and enhance positive impacts on the environment caused by proposed land use plan.
    • Propose Strategies, monitoring and evaluation procedures of impact mitigation option
    • Identify the roles and responsibilities of implementing sectors