Background Water erosion, upland degradation and deforestation are the key environmental problems in Meki river watershed where this study was conducted. This study assessed the land use land cover change (LULCC) over the last 30 years, examined the contribution of Enset-Based land use system (EBLUS) to manage soil erosion problem for sustainability of Lake Ziway and suggested appropriate management interventions for the watershed ERDAS imagine 2014, Geo-statistical interpolation and RUSLE model was devised for LULCC detection and analysis, for different spatial inputs and soil loss modeling respectively.
Result Meki river watershed covers 2110.39056 km² of area which is dominantly covered by cultivated land use system (41.5%), Enset-Based land use system (EBLUS)(10.65%), Bush and Chat land use system (25.6%), Forest and plantations land use system (14.14%), built up (7.4%) and water bodies (0.75%). Severity class of High to severe range (18-125tha-1yr-1) recorded in the sub-watersheds irrespective of the land use systems and facing sever degradation problem that increase in soil loss in all land use systems from 1987 to 2017. The average soil loss of 30.5tha-1yr-1 and 31.905tha-1yr-1 recorded from Enset growing zones and non-Enset growing zones of the watershed respectively.
Conclusion Enset-Based land use system (EBLUS) saves significant amount of soil despite the steepness of the slopes of the Enset growing zones of the watershed. Hence, expansion of EBLUS can contribute in sustaining Lake Ziway by reducing soil loss rate and sedimentation problem for ecological sustainability of the watershed. Therefore, separate land use policy and awareness creation are mandatory for such EBLUS expansion, integrated watershed management and conservation of the natural environment.