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Type Journal Article - International Journal of Agricultural Research and Reviews
Title Siltation and Pollution of Rivers in the Western Highlands of Cameroon: a Consequence of Farmland Erosion and Runoff
Volume 3
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 206-212
URL http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/bitstream/2268/179581/1/springjournals.netijarrarticlesindex=5djoukeng.pdf
In the Western Highlands agro-ecological zone of Cameroon, rivers are constantly silted and polluted
with eroded sediment and waste from cultivated land. This study characterizes and quantifies the
amount of material coming from plots cultivated in the Méloh Watershed. In a natural rocky-bottomed
well measuring 0.90 m deep, 3 m long, and 2.5 m wide, for a period of three years we performed the
collection, differentiation, and measurement of trapped sediment in the cultivated part of river that
runs through the watershed. Both cultivated sides of the watershed had fairly regular slopes of 14%
on one side and 17% on the other side. The material retrieved consisted of soil, plant residues,
chemical packages, and plastic casing used for irrigation. During the years 2012 and 2013, farmers
practiced both flatbed cultivation and ridging along the steepest slopes. These two methods of land
preparation are inefficient in terms of water conservation, as evidenced by the collection of 10.429
t.ha-1 average total sediment per year during this period. Tied ridging cultivation method was
experimented during the 2013 crop year and adopted on 75% of plots in 2014. We subsequently
collected 3.586 t.ha-1
total sediment, a decrease of 65.61% compared to the average of previous
years. The tied ridging cultivation method significantly reduced siltation of the Méloh River (p<0.05).
This study showed that traditional agricultural practices are a principal cause of siltation and
pollution of the Méloh River. By extrapolation, we can state that the problem must occur in almost all
rivers in the study area with similar topography and agricultural practices.

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