Atari Mesk watershed is found in Amhara region South Wolo zone, Dessie Zuria wereda specifically in Atari Mesk Kebele. Its border to the south shares boundary with Maybar watershed, which is one of the SCRP observatory site and it is completely situated within Dessie Zuriya Woreda. It is located 20km from Dessie town accessed through all-weather gravel road that passes from Dessie to Albiko town. Atari Mesk watershed covers 210ha of land.

The topography of Atari Mesk watershed represents peculiar landscape of Wollo, which is rugged and mountainous terrain. The variation in altitude within Atari Mesk watershed is abrupt however; the change in other landscape elements is not highly significant. Generally, this watershed shows heterogeneity in topography than in landscape. More than 50% of Atari Mesk watershed is steep slope that is not suitable for crop cultivation but currently intensively cultivated. The flat and gentle slope of the watershed accounts less than 5%. Therefore, management options for such kind of rugged watershed should be appropriately designed considering factors like population, rainfall and farming system in an integrated way.

Basic Information of the watershed

Biophysical Information

  • Total Area: 210ha
  • Altitude: 2200-2680m a.s.l
  • Agroecology: Dega, Woyna Dega
  • Average Rainfall: 1260mm/yr
  • Average Temperature: 150C

Socio-economic Information

  • Total Population: 861, Male: 420, Female: 441
  • Average family Size: 4.9
  • Livelihood: Mixed farming
  • Homestead: Fair back yard management
  • Major Crops: Barley, Wheat, bean and maize
  • Productivity: 28qu/ha for Barley, 25qu/ha for Wheat

Major Challenges

  • Shortage of water supply specially during dry season
  • Poor transportation facilities and poor road network


  • Ample and bimodal rainfall
  • Fairly good ground water potential
  • Good experiences of the community in land management
  • High potential for forage development