A monitoring visit was conducted to the mudflow control project site in Chiva village of Vayots dzor region on April 15, 2017. The aim of the project is to pilot new approaches to reduction of mudflow risk, assessed as high in Chiva during a thorough study. As a result of the study there have been identified four major sources of mudflow, one of which has been selected by UNDP for piloting of straw wattles technology. The project was implemented in 2016 within the framework of “Mitigation of Climate Change Risks of Rural Communities through Improved Local Development Planning” UNDP-BCPR Project.
Straw wattles, made using mesh tubes filled with straw, are placed on degraded slopes at certain distance from each other to slow down the surface flow of the water, retain moisture and keep seeds of native plants, thus developing favorable conditions for regeneration of vegetation. In case of Chiva project, in addition to straw wattles, there have also been planted drought resistant tree species, and water absorbent has been used to help increase the survival rate of seedlings. The project site has been fenced to prevent the entrance of sheep and cattle, thus protecting the vegetation.
Chiva municipality has partnered with UNDP in implementation of the project and currently takes care of the site maintenance. The municipality currently covers costs related to watering of the trees, as well as security of the site. In autumn 2016, planting of peach trees was organized to test the productivity of the soil in the site. As a result of the monitoring, it has become clear that the survival rate of wild tree species planted in spring 2016 is around 65-70 %, which is a good result considering the level of degradation of the site. Surface vegetation has also become better developed in comparison with early 2016, before the beginning of the project implementation. UNDP will keep monitoring the project site to collect more data necessary for decision-making on spreading of the technology in other sites.