The Torrential Rains and Erosion

The scientific and prehistoric phenomenon and background

 The significant rainfall over the Ethiopian Highlands

The humid and warm air that regularly arrives during the rainy season from the Indian Ocean and then rises over the Ethiopian highlands is a meteorological phenomenon known as Orographic Precipitation (OP). This meteorological phenomenon is very well known, and its explanation follows as the incoming clouds transform their moisture into rain as they rise over a high mountain mass. The landscape in this picture illustrates the circumstances that affect erosion and its relationship to groundwater levels. Alluvial Water (AW) can be crucial for creating water for the natural groundwater reservoirs and the salvage of nutrient-rich sediment. The loss of this fertile soil is frequently occurring and increases without these wetlands when instead, this nutrient-rich sediment should be a welcome contribution to both farms' soil refinement and tourist attraction areas with original Nature and wildlife,

A remote panorama image over the rising highland of Ethiopia

Image (1) shows the potential of the natural mountain ridges with their ability to create long-lasting water deposits in the rock massif and the increased evaporation leading to further rainfall. Also crucial here are the underground and geological compounds that slowly filter this water and transform it into more permanent and long-lasting groundwater in the more deep-lying aquifers of the rock massif. The view here in image (1) is very remote and with and with a distance that is roughly simplified corresponds to a picture from a point far north of Ethiopia and then look south with a compressed image of the Indian Ocean to the left and the ever-rising Ethiopian highlands to the right in the picture.

The Waters of the Nile River and its flows from the Highlands of Ethiopia

Civilizations and Mountainous Rainfall.
The precipitation that falls on high-lying mountain masses is usually of utmost importance for the opportunities to develop a stable and prosperous civilization for the societies below. This cultural dependency is a distinct and regular phenomenon recurring throughout history and today's cultures. The erosive forces (EF) can be devastating but often contradictory for civilizations because rainfall as the primary water source should usually be of the highest importance for wealth rather than an uncontrollable threatful force of sudden turmoil or, even in the past, the background for the loss of civilizations. The natural forest (NF) area with the native undergrowth is crucial for creating naturally stored water in the groundwater reservoirs and thereby conserving species richness in animals and plants. Nevertheless, today's lack of environmental care still raises significant water management problems due to a lack of higher civilization, business corruption, political turmoil, or a despotic and ignorant society under harsh control by a corrupted governing rule.

Historical Recurring Devastation of Water and Vegetation.
Due to this background of shortcomings in natural sciences and lack of sincere governing knowledge within international cultures, reoccurring through history follows a deterioration of the environment and ignorance regarding the global depletion of water resources. This destruction of the environment occurs since ignorant political control prevails by manipulating reluctance for the temporary costs regarding the concerns for humans and the country. Naturally, it follows severe obstructions and even fears among the population for exposing their ability and motivation to accumulate and securely store these massive rains and immense seasonal deluges. Thus, the primitive rules of governing psychopaths created a life-threatening situation for inhabitants who, despite the imminent danger in their despair for their families, dared to undertake any necessary technology or work to promote these water masses to benefit the population during heat and drought. A different easy way to explain this intricate turmoil of human behaviour is that the native vegetation is negatively affected, causing the loss in the soil layers' natural strength.

The Mountain Massifs'

Original Highland Forest

With Water Harbouring Properties

This picture views the importance of storing the
 high-lying mountain water instead of rejecting it
  in rapid flows.This stored water in the mountain
 massif is crucial in the following years. It thus
 provides the lower-lying villages with a stable
 the flow of purified water during the year.
Water and Land Restoration

The Indigenous Vegetation To Groundwater

The native forest and scrub are essential for creating groundwater in the natural mountain reservoirs of underground aquifers. This original ground exists in natural areas with complete undergrowth and indigenous biological micro-structure, unique to such places as established national parks with superior qualities in the ability to withstand erosion. This phenomenon of trees and ground are interconnected, and this indigenous vegetation is crucial for distributing rainwater and preventing environmental decay. Naturally, with high importance, work should prioritise the endemic forest on the mountain massifs.

A Legacy of Optimized Genetic Code for Protection of Water and Soil.
These careful considerations of the native Nature appear in a complex and beautiful picture of lifeforms where they optimized their genetic code by aeons of old evolutionary symbiotic networks. Thus by this evolution of antiquity, the natural forest obtained immense strength for the groundwater's creation and its extreme capacity to withstand erosion. Furthermore, it's essential to understand the precarious synergy between the native plants' highly advanced biology and the ground they created during aeons. 

The Native Forests: The Guardians Of Water 

The Complexity Of Advanced Biology Within Nature

However, the highly advanced complexity of Nature can often be misleading, thereby assuming that the trees should be demanding consumers of water resources within the environment of these natural habitats. Despite this hasty judgement of trees as solely water consumers prevail in the case of unfortunate intervention of human misconduct, a reoccurring risk that a highland will suffer severe water loss of such human environmental misdeeds. Therefore, after the negative impact of human ignorance, the complexity of this misleading assumption is valid if the trees after such human pillage are judged in the few remaining species or artificially as independent examples as a few trees in demanding circumstances, especially on a sunny and dry mountain massif. However, this fragile example of a few trees on an exposed high plateau is the opposite of the dense native forest that creates a harbouring wall against the great forces of torrential deluges. Furthermore, within the original Nature, this intricate biology of the primaeval forest's armoured and water-assisting lushness delivers phenomenons where the indigenous forest's optimized evolution as water guardians prevail as overwhelmingly strong. Hence, the indigenous forest elucidates as the main factor for its ability to saturate the aquifers, with the potent water accumulation effect within the actual depth of the mountain massif's total configuration.

Nature's Mighty Rain Receiving Sponge

The body naturally harboured water, retained in the mountains' native highland vegetation, primaeval forest, and aquifers, can be considered and scientifically analysed with considerable help from the methods used for highly complex dam and reservoir constructions.

It's a well-known fact that the natural highland
 aquifers are not sufficient to supply the large
 metropolitan area's total needs, but complex
 constructions are required. However, the
 native vegetation and soil remain vital in
 the Earth's ecological process before
 storing the water for the country's
 future years' needs.
Strength in Diversity and its Evolutionary Optimized Network.
What seems too complicated to describe in standard terms of biology can sometimes be given a simple parable opportunity. In short, a few stones is nothing of a hinder to a flowing torrent but very well by a firmly anchored uniform stone construction. Consequently, in sweat and thirst, the few rocks are lost in toil and poverty, while the opposite is usually the case with the anchored unit and its amounts of valuable dammed water at hand to use when the drought occurs.

The Close Relation of High-Tech to the Native Highland Forest. 
Of course, the natural forest consists of many complex biological phenomena with countless plants and organisms in a symbiotic relationship that has a highly ancient evolutionary origin as water protectors for the environment. Therefore, the native highland, vegetation and primaeval forest can be scientifically understood with the help of the know-how used for advanced dams and reservoirs.

The Intricate Relation Between Water and Agrarian Culture

The Harsh Reality of Human Requirements for Food Production

Crucial here prevail the underground and geological compounds that slowly filter this water and transform it into more permanent and long-lasting groundwater in the more deep-lying aquifers of the rock massif. The creation of groundwater in image (5) quantity decreases continuously from a high amount of filtered water (FW) to the left in picture (5) and a lower portion of filtered water (FW) to the right in the same image. On the right side in the study (5), see (B), it's also shown how a decrease in plants and trees causes an increased runoff (RO) and the lost ground moisture in a fast-flowing runoff (RO). Moreover, complexity can often be misleading and assume that the trees on the left in the image (5) would consume water resources in the natural forest (NF).

Trees' Complexity as Water Creator and its Deep Guardian

However, this misleading assumption of trees as water destroyers is valid if the trees grow just at a source of drinking water or are judged artificially as independent examples and standalone or a few trees in demanding circumstances. Hence, following the opposite phenomenon of the indigenous forest and grass meadows with their great water assisting properties and ability for environmental preservation, here flagrantly opposing the destructive effects from the artificial plantings of ecologically incompatible foreign trees. Instead, the natural indigenous highland forest has been genetically optimized since aeons to create a harbouring wall against the erosive forces of the torrential deluges. The indigenous forest is evolutionarily optimized for aeons with the intricate ability to feed this shallow water into the groundwater reservoirs. 

With these examples regarding the enormous loss of
 drinking water and fertile soil, it seems natural to
 prioritize examining the possibility of harbouring
 and maintaining the purity of this water by
 preventing the devastating causes of erosion.
Native Biodiversity as Natur's Guardians

The Complexity Of Pure Water and Erosion.

This detailed study shows a picture (4) of the potential of the natural mountain ridges and their ability to create long-lasting water deposits in the rock massifs' aquifers. The image (5) mainly contains what appears in the other models and can serve as an above-mentioned vertical description of what occurs in the image (7). Qualitative and quantitative changes in the water are apparent here when exposed to three different soil and nature types in the photo (5), with an increased runoff (RO) to the right in the picture, which is further clarified by figure (7). This phenomenon is shown in pictures (8) - (9), a piece below.

Comparing Soils After Human Activities.

This image (7) represents a practical study of two types of soils' ability to withstand erosion and their ability to collect and distribute this water to the groundwater reservoirs. Here (7) shows water permeability and how the soil type determines water storage capacity in the upper soil layers. The overlying and perforated water trays are not included in this image which fulfils the function of imitating an average rainfall.

The Indigenous Vegetation and Its 

Importance for Soil and Water Preservation.

In the picture (6), the undergrowth roots are clearly visible (R), and their significance as primary soil stabilizers but concealed is their vital work as overwhelming groundwater creators. This is by the more subtle function, like an intricate network of vertically working water distributors. This vertical water distribution from the plants' roots follows a natural evolutionary optimization process of a complex symbiosis between the plants and the soil. Through inheritance over millions of years, the plants passed through aeons of evolutionary genetic optimization to distribute the superficial rainwater to reach deeper regions and provide the plants with a significantly increased and crucial water depot. Picture (6) also shows the immense importance of the native vegetation's function as reinforcement and structural strength for soil layers. These soil layers (A) exist thanks to the plants' strengthening with their multi-branched roots and the protective top layer of the previous season's plant deposits. Picture (8) and the right (RO) with its runoff and the picture (9) - (B) and its runoff (RO) show together the soil's difficulty resisting erosion.

The Production Of Clean Water

The Problem With Foreign and Incompatible Trees
and their Devastating Effect on the Water.
The Eucalyptus Problem

The Importance of Undisturbed Soil

 The No-till ground on the left side in images (8) -  (9) points (A) shows the familiar surroundings or the seasonal field in rest. Compared to the tillage field, the No-till ground provides significantly better resistance against decay and increases water distribution to the groundwater reservoirs. Pictures (9) show this resistance to the decay phenomenon (A) by increased resistance to soil loss and its ability to store water. This filtered water can transform into purified water within the hidden cliff chambers (aquifers). This filtered water in the study (8) - FWaccumulates during the rainy season, seeping in a continuous flow to the deeper underground. Therefore, cities below the mountain massif depend significantly on the highland's native vegetation, including agriculture through these significant-high altitudes' properties of geologically storing mountain water, hence conveniently extracted by traditional or advanced methods during drought seasons the following year.

The Ground's Importance for the Future Water

Here picture (9), it is clearly shown how the tillage field example (B) to the right in the photo means about twice the amount lost in the runoff in comparison with the No-till soil on the left (A). Also, the left No-till soil (A) with its water tray display considerably less erosive sediment in the water tray in comparison to the tillage field on the right in the images (9) - (10) - (B). The vertical connection of the (FW) arrows 1 and 2 in the image (8) appears very clearly as an effect in the study of example (9). Models (8) and (9) confirm an apparent relationship following the waterways of FWand FW2, shown in the lower part of the picture (8).

The Native Vegetation's Way to Block Torrential Forces

Due to the contact between the precipitation and the tree crowns, the path of the water slows down enormously, thereby highlighting the importance of the greenery's colossal surface in preventing the initiation of flash floods. Thus, the native vegetation creates multiple vertical and lateral barriers that prevent torrents from building up high velocities with their devastating forces. These barriers propagating walls of native vegetation are thus clearly both above ground in the physical constitution of plants and underground in roots with their interacting organisms. The totality of the rain-catching surface of the trees' canopy is thus much more extensive than the ground without trees. The water that finally drips down from the tree roof slows down in speed and substantially extends the time during the undergrowth carefully receiving the water.

The Important Water-catching Capacity of the Native Plants

This vegetation's water-catching phenomenon expresses its importance in its blocking properties due to the hindrance of destructive water force initiations. Furthermore, this phenomenon reinforces its importance further when the drops from the tree meet the native under vegetation, thereby creating one more block against torrential deluges. The final obstacle to the water's ability to obtain speed and gain destructive power clarifies within study (9) - (A), where last year's dry plant parts capture the water and lead it down into the soil with astonishing efficiency. The result of this phenomenon is that the roots of the trees obtain a significantly longer time to feed this precious water into underground sources. The consequence of this diversity in vertical water-capturing greenery constitutes a much more effective groundwater provider than a flat or slightly sloping crust of brittle and fragile soil, shown in study (9) - (B).

This image highlights the importance of the soil's structures
 for absorbing water. Therefore, it may be appropriate to
 interpret these pictures in the light of traditional check
 dams and their great importance in avoiding the loss
 of colossal amounts of water in heavy rainfall.
Further examples and ideas of check dams

Two Concealed Trays for the Infiltrated Water.

Behind the front picture (10) are hidden two more water trays (FW) that show the potential of two different soil substrate and their very deviant ability to extract water and transport it to the natural groundwater.  Therefore, the picture reveals the highly variable results and the double effect in the amount of distributed groundwater water. The soil-delivered spring water in this example of the two concealed trays (FW) makes this effect of preserved water even more evident; see these two covered (FW) trays more clearly in the image (9).

Erosion Related to Human Activities for Food Production.
The No-tilled land (A) surrounding the cultivable area with tillage cropland provided significantly better resistance to erosion and increased water distribution to the groundwater reservoirs. However, in this study, shown in images (9) and (10), natural indigenous vegetation is not included with its optimized qualities. Naturally, the enhanced erosion follows the cultivable land shown here in point (B); It is often so severe that it gives a visible legacy that remains destructive and impossible for further cultivation. 

Ethiopia with the Background of Deep Contradictions from the Australian Eucalyptus Tree.
In Ethiopia's situation, the alien eucalyptus tree species provides a clear and troubling picture of the surrounding undergrowth due to such a hostile and not native tree. The artificially introduced eucalyptus tree caused this demise and, following the lack of Ethiopia's native scrub, the poisonous substance of the eucalyptus trees' foliage and roots. This alien substance causes erosion to drastically increase in the surrounding area of ​​the eucalyptus tree.

The Importance of Indigenous Trees and Vegetation to the Hillsides.
In the landscape, these eucalyptus trees' roots often appear as if they are elevated, even on a strangely raised grid of single root cones that can vary in height. These high root cones can protrude vertically upwards to the one-meter height at exposed locations adjacent to steeper slopes. Thus, they clearly show that the former soil layer, until recently, was one meter higher on the steeper hillsides. The soil configuration depending on their stability, in general, demonstrate that all these soil layers should be reinforced by the roots of trees and covered by indigenous undergrowth, thus obtaining strength and durability. This habitat type forms massive water accumulating capacity and is crucial for creating groundwater in the mountain massif and lower wetlands. 

The History of the Environment.

The Advanced Natural Sciences Of Environmental Restoration

Careful analysis is precarious in the case of trees and plants since their determination of the influence on water supply mustn't immediately offer an explanation model of the sudden and modern solutions and circumstances with similar industries. Instead, this phenomenon is highly complex in biology through evolutionary time and environment, which requires an investigation that closely follows the very creation of the soil and its way of creating a reliable ground for vegetation. In the background of these lengthy and often prehistoric time cycles, the highly complex protection appears for today's creation of a stable drinking water supply.

Ethiopia's Unique Highland Landscape and Climate

Regarding Ethiopia's unique climate in the seasons, with months of heavy downpours over the country's characteristic rugged landscape topography followed by months of blistering sunshine, difficulties naturally arise for the survival of planted saplings. The long prehistoric Nature's evolutionary optimized stability in sheer strength and water absorption found in the original native vegetation is thus often impossible to recreate with a simple planting of fragile young seedlings. Therefore, Ethiopia's neglected indigenous Nature demands knowledge and work before any sign of evident healing of the country's Nature and freshwater conservation. Consequently, it is often associated with incredible frustration to recreate healthy landscape biotopes by replanting native young plants on exposed eroded mountain slopes and devastated high plateaus. Instead, sporadically planted young plants will require tender care with irrigation and protection against grazing animals and shade from season months of midday's mercilessly blistering sunshine. This recreation of Nature's shielding functions needs, thus, the devoted work of restoration to regain the guardian effect from a lost indigenous forest with its endemic vegetation of shielding undergrowth.

The Complications Of Indigenous Forest Restoration

Water and Shelter for Saplings

Thus, it is impossible to recreate a stable and healthy nature by replanting a few native trees on a devastated plateau; instead, these sporadically planted young plants on the table will require tender care with irrigation and protection against grazing animals and shade from the blistering seasonal sun. Furthermore, on the slopes, these young plants most often need some temporary stabilizer of the ground and protection in something that mimics the wind and sun-protective effect of many mother trees. In addition, sporadically placed young plants can only offer a very rudimentary and weak protective network against erosion; instead, there is the obvious risk that these young plants will, in all probability, soon perish in the struggle against the great forces of Nature.

The Precarious and Fragile Restoration Of the Lost Nature

 Science, much time and labour are needed for environmental restoration; this demands massive protection projects to offer the young plants the replacement for the lost biotope and its vital natural protective properties. Hence, restoring a lost biotope is very complicated and requires much work to recreate a reliable substitute for the lost shielding armour of the primaeval forest. Therefore, due to the absence of the essential protective functions of mother trees and other plants, enormous efforts are required to recreate these guardian functions for the tender indigenous seedlings, which otherwise do not survive the very exposed ground. Thus, this process of environmental restoration includes what was previously prehistorically self-evident as a crucial basis for the survival of all higher life forms.


"Residue Cover on the Soil Surface 1 of 3
During DakofaFest 2012, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in South Dakota focused on Soil Health at their booth in the USDA tent at DakotaFest.

 The Soil Expo display run at the NRCS 20120 DakotaFest presentation demonstrated the soil erosion and sedimentation losses from conventionally tilled samples versus No-Till cropland samples.

An experiment was performed on two "cut-outs" of soil - one from a No-till field and one from a conventional tillage field. "Rain" was put on the samples to see how the soil structure reacted. The photo shows the traditional field of tillage had more runoff with more soil particles in the water. The No-till field had better infiltration with much less water runoff and was clearer.

 Once the "rain" was over, the two trays were examined. The No-till tray had water infiltration through the bottom. This meant that the water had good penetration into the soil profile. The bottom of the conventional tillage sample was almost entirely dry, meaning that the water had runoff and not infiltrated the top few inches of the soil profile.

( USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in South Dakota)


The Scientific Explanation of Trees' Evolution 

The scientific legacy of the prehistoric, non-human cultivated plants constitutes the resting tool for the unique and natural optimization of the soil structure and its inherent resistance to various natural disturbances. Through this, the evolution process created inheritance over many millions of years; it allowed plants and trees to evolve their genetic pattern into a harmoniously and profoundly synergy working in symbiosis with their surrounding ground. Due to this ancient evolutionary optimized ecology, the plants genetically evolved into formidable distributors of the superficial rainwater and allowed this water to penetrate the soil's otherwise porous resistant structure. Thus, the study above clarifies the background to purified water resources obtained by the intricate process of indigenous tree plants, hence their overwhelming significance to the economy and health of ordinary and high-tech societies.

 The Production of Soils in Synergy Symbiosis

Thanks to the remote geological evolution of plants' and ground-living organisms' development, they obtained the primary tool to open the Earth's surface layers' permeability. Thus, the roots of the native ancient plants liberated the otherwise water-repellent surface of the soil and gave the ground its water-absorbing properties. In this way, the native roots, together with microorganisms in symbiosis, interfered with the intricate work of cultivating the otherwise prevailing brittle and fragile soils. Hence, with their intricately stabilizing fibrous roots, these plants in ancient times made a symbiosis with surrounding microorganisms and initiated the beginning of time the path of water to the soil and Earth's groundwater reservoirs. These prehistoric plants' roots thereby counter-acted the water resistance of the dense-packed ground and opened the soil's ability to stabilise porous permeability. This basic phenomenon between plants and soils allowed the water to pass to deeper soil layers and aquifers' regions. 

The Water Creation Of the Indigenous Forest 

These native trees gave the Earth a significantly increased and specified deposit in quantity and quality of purified water and even more distributed this water to become giant fossil water aquifers of the natural mountain and present desert areas. This deposited water is critical to the plant's ability to withstand drought and heat, which creates an intimate connection of symbiosis between the evolution of vegetation and the created soil. The creation of sequential optimization in evolutionary prehistory appeared to increase the indigenous plants' ability to deliver the water down to the deeper soil layers and the natural groundwater reservoirs (aquifers). Furthermore, thanks to this increased underground water, the plants developed their ability to withstand harsh conditions during prolonged droughts. The natural results follow sharply increased production of healthy soils by the native plants' natural seasonal downfall foliage, and Earth's organisms work to produce soil sediment by composting debris.

  • The amounts of large enough rain to create torrential forces are widespread and very common. However, the water's torrential powers are often devastating due to the loss of soils' natural armour in native plants and their roots.

  • This torrential rain is a fundamental weather phenomenon that, in addition to automatic watering of crops, is also the source that fills the natural groundwater reservoirs.

  • However, a devastating danger occurs if original vegetation has been removed and created exposed land surfaces without the necessary reinforcement due to the lack of roots and the overlying network of twigs with undergrowth.

  • This network of plants and roots does not only create enormous strength for the soil layers. The concomitant resistance to erosion is a gigantic creator of spring water to natural groundwater reservoirs in the cliff massif.

  • Interacting with this purifying and protective connection of ancient synergy is very serious because this groundwater phenomenon is of fundamental importance. Here the vegetation and the soil layers accumulating effect is crucial as both a water purifying filter and, furthermore, the only source as the primary distributor to the natural underground water reservoirs (Aquifers).

  • A hostile or aggressive influence or manipulation of this, which is the planet's and the very substance itself in the origin of life, leads not only to malnutrition, starvation, and biological impoverishment. However, it is also the ground for repetitive fatal landslides, ruined buildings, and an ever-present catastrophe of crushed dreams and long-standing misery.

  • The creation of the natural soil layers with their unique biological and mechanical properties characterizes each specific environment and its biotope. This particular soil character controls the possible pattern for reproduction and survival for each life form within the habitat and directly results from its biotope's unique Nature.

  • This hard-wired symbiotic relationship between soil and organisms is evolutionary, a unique biological habitat established in a remote prehistorical time. This is a remarkable evolutionary optimized biotope of plants and wildlife and their environment, including all of its indigenous vegetation and species of trees.

  • This interaction is a compassionate biological symbiotic relation of the native plants, and their created soil gives a very delicate and fragile biological and geological synergy. Since this ancient synergy of biology and soil structure, injury to one of these natural components constituents undesirable effects that negatively affect the other forms of life and their accompanying unique soil type.

Videos: Soil Erosion Demo  

Wikipedia: Regenerative Agriculture

The Eucalyptus Introduction Created an Environmental Disaster.

(Updated  2017-08-31)

** This tree caused catastrophic erosion and sharply reduced groundwater and surface water in rivers and streams. The ecological catastrophe becomes a tragic and evident fact that can be viewed virtually everywhere on steep slopes around the Capital, where the Earth is bare, naked, heavily eroded and infertile. However, the Eucalyptus tree produces very fast straight, productive timber. It should, therefore, be considered a good tree for forestry on the plains where precipitation cannot create sudden torrents with destructive forces and the resulting erosion with its chaos of water shortage and malnutrition. 


Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia:

Identification, Propagation and

 Management for 17 Agroclimatic Zones

Azene Bekele-Tesemma

Edited by
Bo TengnΓ€s, Ensermu Kelbesa, Sebsibe Demissew and Patrick Maundu

The contents of this handbook may be reproduced without special permission. However, acknowledgement of the source is requested. The photographers and artists concerned must be contacted for the reproduction of illustrations. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of World Agroforestry Centre.


A not-for-profit charity supporting the Ethiopian Heritage Trust in Addis Ababa


The full amount you donate will be used in Ethiopia.
The Trust is registered with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for Gift Aid.

Ethiopian Heritage Trust (UK)


Popular posts from this blog

Entoto Park (Inquiries)

Benefits from the Establishment of the Park

Entoto Natural Park