Inexpensive Erosion Control in Developing Countries

erosion3Soil erosion is a major concern all over the world. It may be a slow process that continues over time unnoticed, or a faster-paced disaster causing detrimental loss of topsoil. From Afghanistan, India, Nepal to Tibet, technologies preventing, mitigating or stopping soil erosion is a combination of learning to replace indigenous plants, make structural changes, and adopting new agricultural measures.

Damage caused by heavy soil erosion is often irreversible so it is important to be proactive and take conservation measures prior to events like flooding, drought, landslides, and roadside erosion. Developed countries have been increasingly aware of the use of natural plant fibers creating biodegradable fabrics or matting (made of jute, burlap, and coir) to pin exposed soil in place until foliage and new landscaping features can provide more permanence to unstable and sloping areas of land. Sharing these very inexpensive solutions with other countries help their development and economy.

As countries develop they alter the landscape as the population expands and the land is used more intensely. Without erosion control, soil can be destroyed as rainfall dislodges soil, reduces soil fertility, clogs rivers with sediment, and ruins the quality of drinking water. The land is unable to recharge groundwater levels, flooding issues occur, and urban and rural communities suffer.

Modern thinking aims to correct poor agriculture practices, the abuse of natural fields and forests, and improper irrigation and drainage systems in developing countries through simple landscaping practices such as contouring and terracing. The use of fibrous matting, rolls, and sandbags can prevent soil movement whether foliage repopulates naturally or through deliberate means.

Climate change and land use mismanagement have created serious disasters in tropical locations devastated by storms on steep grades causing landslides, flooding, building destruction, loss of life and serious economic issues. The aftermath of earthquakes is unstable slopes that result in major sediment flowing into rivers and streams, destabilization of levees and dykes, roadway and bridge erosion.

Coastal erosion in areas of Asia and other countries in the Indian Ocean are mostly natural processes caused by various weather elements, along with population growth and poorly managed economic development near the coastlines. This type of erosion is common in Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.

erosion4Between nature and human intervention mangrove loss is making coastal areas more susceptible to erosion. Man compounds the natural erosion effects of fires, hurricanes, tidal waves, storms and natural erosion cycles of changing sea levels with logging, land cultivation, aquaculture, and salt ponds as well as urban construction and development stripping the soil.


In developing countries, soil erosion eventually affects the livelihoods of the communities that face difficulties in sustaining their farms and have to look for work alternatives. Teaching about causes of soil erosion and the uses of fibrous matting, rolls, and sandbags can keep these countries more economically stable. Proper erosion control efforts are necessary, very effective, and due to the use of natural plant fibers, very inexpensive.


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This entry was posted on Monday, June 13th, 2016 at 4:34 pm and is filed under Flood Protection, Prevention Tips, Sandbags, Uncategorized.

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