Designing and building gabion check dams in Burkina Faso

Stefania Grimaldi, Paolo Vezza, Irene Angeluccetti, Velio Coviello, Alain Magloire Koussoube Ko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Gabion check dams (GCDs) are among the most diffused soil and water conservation practices in Burkina Faso, used to cope with soil loss and reservoir siltation. Specifically, CGDs are flexible, permeable structures built in gullies to create a sedimentation bench that decreases the average upstream slope. The consequent slowing-down of the flowing water limits flood-wave sediment transport capacity reducing soil loss upstream, reduces the amount of trapped
sediment in reservoirs and promotes water infiltration into the soil. The present work provides concise guidelines for the design and implementation of GCDs in Burkina Faso. This was achieved gathering the experience developed in the frame of several cooperation and development projects led by the Italian non-governmental organization. The theoretical elements and procedural steps to perform an appropriate design and implementation of GCDs are described and discussed, including hydrological and hydraulic methods to assess stream flow characteristics, spillway functioning, siltation rate, dimensions and stability of the
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngineering Geology for Society and Territory - Volume 3: River Basins, Reservoir Sedimentation and Water Resources
EditorsGiorgio Lollino, Massimo Arattano, Massimo Rinaldi, Orazio Giustolisi, Jean-Christophe Marechal, Gordon E Grant
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Pages529 - 533
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9783319090535
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Gabion check dams
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Soil erosion
  • Desertification

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