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Carbon Sequestration & Hydraulic Characteristics under Conservation in Malawi

Jessour is a hydraulic unit made of three components: the impluvium, the terrace and the dyke. The impluvium or the catchment is the area which collects and conveys runoff water. It is bordered by a natural water divide line (a line that demarcates the boundary of a natural area or catchment, so that all the rain that falls on this area is concentrated and drained towards the same outlet). Each unit has its own impluvium, but can also receive excess water from upstream units. The terrace or cropping zone is the area in which farming is practised. It is formed progressively by the deposition of sediment. In the Jessour, a dyke (tabia, sed, katra) acts as a barrier used to hold back sediment and runoff water. Such dykes are made of earth, and are equipped with a central and/or lateral spillway (masref and/or manfes) and one or two abutments (ktef), assuring the evacuation of excess water. They are trapezoidal and measure 15-50 m in length, 1-4 m in width and 2-5 m in height. In old units, the dyke is stabilised with a covering of dry stones to overcome the erosive effects of water wave action on the front and back of the dyke. The spillway is made of stones arranged in the form of stairs, in order to dissipate the kinetic energy of the overflow.




    Water harvesting by Jessour

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