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Large-scale siting of sand dams: a participatory approach and application in Angolan drylands
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  • Luigi Piemontese,
  • Natalia Limones,
  • Giulio Castelli,
  • Alice Grazio,
  • Elena Bresci
Luigi Piemontese
Università degli Studi di Firenze

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Natalia Limones
Universidad de Sevilla
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Giulio Castelli
Università degli Studi di Firenze
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Alice Grazio
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Elena Bresci
Università degli Studi di Firenze
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Sand dams are simple and effective structures built across ephemeral riverbeds in arid/semi-arid regions to harvest water within sand pores and increase water availability and quality for rural communities. The complex morphological, hydrological, social and economic conditions that make sand dams a beneficial tool for water resilience are largely influenced by the siting phase. Proper location of a sand dam can reduce community’s travel time to water points, reduce water conflicts and increase food security through expansion of irrigated agriculture. On the other hand, a misplacement of sand dams can, at worst, increase disparities in water access and increase local conflicts. To approach a viable siting of sand dams, most projects are developed and delivered with the community through a bottom-up approach. However, in case of large-scale project, remote sensing and biophysical analysis are the dominant approach, leaving the socio-economic component at the margins of the siting strategy and eventually affecting the benefits to local communities. In this paper, we propose a large-scale participatory methodology to sand dams siting, which draws on mixed-methods connecting the conventional top-down biophysical analysis with bottom-up participatory research. We first describe the generic approach developed for sand dams siting in Namibe, a semi-arid region of South-west of Angola, then we draw on our case to propose a generic approach to large-scale participatory siting beyond Namibe.
12 Jan 2022Submitted to Land Degradation & Development
17 Jan 2022Submission Checks Completed
17 Jan 2022Assigned to Editor
14 Feb 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
11 Apr 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
29 Apr 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Major
29 May 20221st Revision Received
30 May 2022Submission Checks Completed
30 May 2022Assigned to Editor
24 Jun 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 Jun 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Major
01 Jul 20222nd Revision Received
01 Jul 2022Submission Checks Completed
01 Jul 2022Assigned to Editor
03 Oct 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Oct 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Nov 2022Published in Land Degradation & Development. 10.1002/ldr.4500