Photo credit: WVC 1990-07 Fraternisation 08
Arbolle, Prov. Passoré, Burkina Faso: Bois de la Fraternisation
Splendid growth of Acacia nilotica, planted in 1988, already 3 m high in 1990
Originally published at:
Martin H. STAPLE’s comment
“Stumbled across this page entirely by chance this evening (20.03.2007) while searching for something else – what a brilliant project! What has the response of the local people and the authorities been? Have there been no problems with people foraging for firewood, or with grazing goats etc.?
Success stories like this deserve to be made much more well-known.“
Thanks, Martin, for this nice comment. Referring to a former message on this blog (November 19, 2006), you recognized the remarkable success of our reforestation project. A splendid young wood was developed in a very short period and this without any irrigation, only rainfed. How was this possible ? Well, there is no secret at it! We only applied our soil conditioner TerraCottem (www.terracottem.com) at the beginning of the rainy season way back in 1988, planted different species of tree seedlings from a local nursery and left it to the annual rain to keep the roots moistened enough for continuous growth (also in the 9 months of dry season, mainly through capillary water !). The rain was stocked every year thereafter in TerraCottem’s water absorbent polymers, the moistened soil was continuously setting free more nutrients (mineralisation) and the enhancing organic matter stimulates microbiological activities. We registered a gradual invasion of local herbaceous and woody plant species without any additional seeding or planting, followed by the appearance of an amazing number of animals (insects, birds, reptiles, mammals). Nature responded positively !
Looking back, we noticed that we restored nature with ONE SINGLE ACTION : planting young trees with TerraCottem !
Now, let me come back to your questions : “What has the response of the local people and the authorities been? Have there been no problems with people foraging for firewood, or with grazing goats etc.?”.
Well, Martin, can’t you guess the answers ?
The local people reacted splendidly : they appreciated the reappearance of the former wood (which they had destroyed themselves when collecting firewood !) and they were very happy when we told them 10 years after plantation that now they could even install very small gardens (a few square meter each) here and there in the shade of the trees. You had to see the stars in their eyes !
As for the authorities, they got a report and a Power Point Presentation of the results. We were congratulated with “the nice initiative” and they “would see what they could do about it“.
The local people, having their little fields under the canopies, fully respect the newly formed young wood. They certainly do not allow the cattle to penetrate in the wood (protection of their gardens !).
And the little wood itself ? It is since then expanding by dispersal of seeds from the magnificent trees.
Thanks again, Martin, for your conclusion : “ Success stories like this deserve to be made much more well-known.” With your comment, you contributed to this. After so many years we still hope that authorities, international or national organizations, NGOs or other aid organizations will have the same feeling as yours : this example merits to be multiplied at a very large scale, making successful reforestation as simple as can be.
That day will come !