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Global Society with shovels against drought

Global Society & Global Goals
Global Society with shovels against drought

Villagers in Kenya and Tanzania excavate several semicircular depressions in the dirt on dry terrain to fight the threat of desertification. When it rains, the water pools there rather than immediately evaporating on the dry land. These so-called "bunds" are used to plant grass seeds. When it rains, water collects in the troughs and seeps out considerably more slowly inside than outside. In the damp soil, the seeds can begin to sprout.

However, plants grow again in other places besides the holes, which are about two meters long and five meters wide. Around them, vegetation is gradually beginning to sprout once more. This is due to the fact that the grass in the "bunds" stabilizes the soil with its roots, inhibits soil erosion, and cools the earth, all of which are advantageous to the region around them.

To counteract desertification and climate change, use swales and trees

The nonprofit Dutch-African organization "Justdiggit" came up with the idea of using earth hollows to make the land fruitful once more. Sinc e 2013, the non-governmental group has been collaborating on the initiative with locals in Kenya and Tanzania. Since then, almost 200,000 "bunds" have been dug.

Justdiggit assists communities with reforestation utilizing the "Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration" (FMNR) technique in addition to helping the soil get greener. The organization claims that more than nine million trees have been replanted in Kenya and Tanzania using this method, under the slogan "Kisiki Hai" (Swahili meaning "alive tree stump"). But the organization's primary source of support is its on-site educational activities. Justdiggit is confident that the region's growing drought and desertification can only be stopped if many people become aware of the strategies and achievements and get involved.

Goal: In the Tanzanian province of Arusha, the soil will be made fertile once more and useable as pasture and arable land for the local population by replanting degraded land areas. Revegetation cools the microclimate with reforestation, preventing the area from being desertified. Additionally, the replanting will bind CO2 and stop climate change.

Initiative duration: By 2030, the project, which started in 2013, hopes to rehabilitate 130 million hectares of deteriorated soil.

Budget: Donations and partnerships with globally operating businesses are used to fund the initiative. Bunds, or individual earthen depressions, can be funded by private donors. For the maintenance of ten million trees in Tanzania, businesses agree to donate money over the course of five years.

Initiative collaborators: The Lead Foundation organization and the German foundation The Food Family are also taking part in the project in Arusha, in addition to the non-governmental organization "Justdiggit."

Sometimes it is the simplest practices that have endured for millennia that are the most successful and least costly to make a significant and, most importantly, lasting difference. In this project, you can see that the key to success is community.Only with everyone's buy-in will the project be a success.

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