Abi ZARDI covers West Nile sub-region under the Northern Uganda agro-ecological zone that stretches from Acholi and Bunyolo sub-regions to the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan includes nine districts of Adjumani, Arua, Koboko. Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Pachwach, Yumbe and Zombo. It has a total land area of 24,176 km2 with a total population of 2,661,000 of which 1,272,300 and 1,388,700 are men and women, respectively. It experiences a unimodal rainfall pattern with wet periods from April to November. The average annual rainfall is about 1,200mm and average temperature is about 30oC. Its soils vary across the region but are generally moderate to highly productive.
Agriculture is one of the major economic activities and the major crops include: cassava, beans, groundnuts, sweet potatoes, sesame, tobacco, sorghum, rice, maize, soya beans and finger millet. In addition, livestock is an important enterprise and the area is well known for high quality honey production.
The area experiences widespread biodiversity loss and especially deforestation is attributed to encroachment, charcoal burning, tobacco curing and lack of forest law enforcements. The recent influx of refugees from South Sudan and their settlement has also seriously contributed to further land degradation. Soil degradation is due to detrimental practices such as bush burning, overuse of inorganic fertilizers in the tobacco producing areas such as Ludara and Midigo, and soil erosion. Rampant wild bush fires is a common phenomena, used as a strategy for hunting wild game, opening of new agricultural land, and rejuvenation of pastures. Soil degradation as a result of erosion emanating from poor farming practices has resulted into loss of soil fertility and consequently serious decline in land productivity. A number of interventions are being carried out to reduce land degradation which include: tree planting, agroforestry, developing and enforcing deterrent ordinances; investing in alternative income sources; awareness creation and sensitization on environmental stewardship; establishment of tree nursery beds for promotion of tree planting in the affected communities; and demarcation of wetland boundaries with trees.