Spurs and dykes
Long spurs, also referred to as groynes, are used to direct the course of the river away from a
vulnerable bank. The spurs make permanent changes to the rivers course by capturing sediment.
The spurs are often made of gabions as they have to be strong enough to resist the force of the
water during periods of flooding. This practice is known as river training.
Figure 3: Spurs used for controlling erosion at bends in rivers and spur design options.
Illustration: Practical Action / Neil Noble
For spurs to be effective
they have to be designed
and built in such a way to
ensure that they can resist
the strongest forces from
floodwater. This can be
done be using professional
expertise in the initial
phase of the project. These
carrying out design
work for all structures
and producing detailed
with quotation and
and ensuring standards
of inputs and materials
Figure 4: A newly constructed spur shown before the monsoon. The base of
the river and the spur apron are clearly visible in the dry season. Photo:
Practical Action Nepal.
liaising with local authorities over standards and legal requirements
carrying out community training where necessary
verifying community expenditures and cost estimates