25,000 die each day

Photo credit:

Community garden in Niou (Prov. Kourweogo, Burkina Faso) in 2009 – Project Committee Maastricht-Niou and TC-Dialogue Foundation (Belgium) started in 1988. – Soil conditioned with TC – Photo Willemien 2009 Niou Jardin Communautaire P2250398 copy 2.


Although success stories to alleviate hunger exist, 25,000 die each day – (bewing)

Commented by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (Ghent University, Belgium)

published at: https://desertification.wordpress.com/2007/03/31/469/

In Bewing http://bewing.wordpress.com/2007/03/28/25000-die-each-day/#comment-693:


“About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds, as you can see on this display. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often.Yet there is plenty of food in the world for everyone. The problem is that hungry people are trapped in severe poverty. They lack the money to buy enough food to nourish themselves. Being constantly malnourished, they become weaker and often sick. This makes them increasingly less able to work, which then makes them even poorer and hungrier. This downward spiral often continues until death for them and their families.”

Senegal Toubacouta 2002-02
Senegal Toubacouta 2002-02

2002-02 : Toubacouta (Senegal) – Community garden for women in the Sahel region – Excellent production with only half of the normal quantity of irrigation water – Look at the dark, healthy, continuously moistened soil. –

Project TC-Dialogue with Philippe BEKAERT and Alain GOETGHEBUER (sponsors, Belgium) – Keur Bou Natte – Photo WVC 2002.

2003-03 Espargos-Pretoria-06 copy
2003-03 Espargos-Pretoria-06 copy.jpg

Project of TC-Dialogue Foundation – Evaluation mission 2003-03 with Etienne Van Steenberghe and Marc PIlle : Cabo Verde (Isla do Sal – Escola Pretoria) – Splendid school garden – Former schoolyard transformed into a “garden of Eden”, producing fresh vegetables for the lunches at school, thanks to the application of the TerraCottem (TC) soil conditioner. See the happy children ?  

Photo WVC 2003-03 Espargos-Pretoria-06 copy.jpg


P1000569 copy 1
P1000569 copy 1.jpg

UNICEF Project with TC-Dialogue Foundation 2005-2007: Saharawis refugee camp of Smara (S.W. Algeria) – Sahara desert sand transformed into a magnificent family garden (25 m2, sufficient to feed the family). Soil conditioner TerraCottem applied in october 2006; first vegetables (red beetroot and carrots) harvested in november 2006. For the first time all the family members can eat fresh vegetables from their own garden. –

Photo WVC P1000569 2007 Smara TV4.JPG.


Hunger and famine belong to the most shocking and disastrous phenomena on this world. We all get really touched when seeing hungry children, mostly in the drylands, where poverty of the rural people is one of the basic reasons for this plague.

Therefore, it is striking that very positive results, obtained since the nineties with creation of community gardens for women (Burkina Faso, Senegal), school gardens (Cabo Verde, Burkina Faso) or small family gardens (Algeria), do not seem to convince international or national authorities to invest seriously in these easy to duplicate “best practices” to alleviate hunger and poverty.

If local farmers, mostly women, can produce more crops with half of the normal volume of irrigation water, simply by applying one single time a soil conditioner, why don’t we invest more in the multiplication of vegetable gardens for villagers and school children?

Have a look at my blog <www.desertification.wordpress.com>, see what we have done with UNICEF ALGERIA for the creation of family gardens in the refugee camps of the Sahraouis people in the Sahara desert, and you will be convinced that a nice solution for the hunger problem exists.

It suffices to apply it to break the downward spiral. I know that the rural population in the drylands lacks the money to buy enough food and being constantly malnourished, is becoming weaker and often sick. Fabulous amounts of money have been and are continuously spent on very diverse, ambitious, but sometimes non-sustainable programmes and projects. What if we would invest in the creation of kitchen gardens and school gardens, offering the rural people and their children a nice opportunity to produce their own food, even within a period of 2-3 months? Production of fresh food, full of vitamins and mineral elements, makes them increasingly more able to work, which then makes them even less hungry and a bit wealthier (possibility to bring vegetables to the local market).

I see no easier and better way to create an upward spiral. And remember, seeing is believing. That’s what the Saharawis have been telling us after registering the first successes with their new gardens and trees in the Algerian Sahara desert.  Why only here, in the most difficult circumstances ?  Why not in all the drylands ?

The day will come …


Plantation d’une haie vive au Burkina Faso


Photo credit : Henri GIRARD – AZN – Living hedge planted in 1998 with 100 g of TC soil conditioner per linear meter – Two rows of Cassia sieberiana

Plantation of a living hedge in Burkina Faso

in Guié/ Tankouti

Testing a soil conditioner by Henri GIRARD, AZN – Terre Verte Burkina

“Burkina Faso – woody savannah of Guié/Tankouri (Oubritenga Province) : mixed living hedge (composed of a sheep fence installed between two rows of Cassia sieberiana), planted with TerraCottem (TC) soil conditioner in 1998 (100 g of TC per linear meter, at the bottom of a ditch, 40 cm wide and 30 cm deep).  First pruning at 120 cm in March 2005.  Height of the hedge in 2006 : 280 cm (excellent growth without any irrigation).  Observations : regular survival of all seedlings in comparison with those on other sites in the region (Photos Henri GIRARD, AZN – Terre Verte Burkina-2006/01).”

2006-01-Haie-Tankouri-TC-40.jpg – 

Photo credit: Henri GIRARD – 2006-01: Living hedge planted in 1998 with 100 g of TC soil conditioner per linear meter – Two rows of Cassia sieberiana

“Burkina Faso – périmètre bocager de  Guiè/Tankouri (province d’Oubritenga) : haie vive haie  mixte (composée d’un grillage mouton enserré entre 2 lignes de Cassia  sieberiana), plantée  avec le TC en 1998 (100  grammes de TC par mètre linéaire, au fond d’une tranchée de 40 cm de large et 30 cm  de profondeur). Première taille à 120 cm en mars 2005. Hauteur de la haie  en 2006 : 280 cm (excellente croissance sans irrigation aucune). Observations: Régularité de reprise des pieds par rapport à  ceux d’autres sites dans la région  (Photos Henri GIRARD, AZN – Terre Verte Burkina–2006/01).”

Successful reforestation in Burkina Faso

Photo credit: ECOSIA


Lilengo 3 years later: how planting trees helped an entire town

The word “Lilengo” actually means “barren soil” in local languages in Burkina Faso. A name that doesn’t quite fit the town anymore after the planting of trees brought environmental and social improvements.

This is the town of Lilengo in Burkina Faso 3 years ago:



And this is how it looks today after our planting partners at OZG started the tree-planting program that Ecosia is now supporting and scaling up:



Lilengo serves as a projection of how your searches can help impoverished communities in Burkina Faso.

The environmental and social improvements that this program has brought to Lilengo was the main reason Ecosia decided to start supporting it at the end of 2014.

Three years ago Lilengo was a bare land, food was scarce and only one child had reached secondary school.

Nowadays, the luscious forests growing around Lilengo have brought life back to the village. More girls and boys attend secondary school, women have access to jobs and there is more food available for the population and their livestock.

Read the full article: ECOSIA

What did we do with successes booked a decade ago ?

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:



Successful reforestation in Burkina Faso / Reboisement réussi au Burkina Faso

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 !


1988-12 Fraternisation 03
Photo WVC 1988-12 Bois de la Fraternisation 03 : Arbollle (Passoré Province, Burkina Faso) – 4 months after planting tree seedlings with TerraCottem, the team of the University of Ghent-Belgium (Patrick VERVALCKE and Julien DE KEYSER) measure the young trees to study the optimal dosage of the soil conditioner. —————-1988-12 : Arbollle (Passoré Province, Burkina Faso) – 4 mois après la plantation des jeunes pieds d’arbre avec le TerraCottem, l’équipe de Université de Gand-Belgique (Patrick VERVALCKE et Julien DE KEYSER) mesurent les jeunes arbres pour étudier le dosage optimal du conditionneur de sol.


1998-12 Fraternisation 10
Photo WVC 1998-12 Bois de la Fraternisation 10 – 1998-12 : Arbollle (Passoré Province, Burkina Faso) – 10 years later a magnificent young is formed without any irrigation and the only thing we did was planting tree seedlings with TerraCottem. Why should other reforestation projects not set up a test with it? ———— 1998-12 : Arbollle (Passoré Province, Burkina Faso) – 10 ans après, un jeune bois magnifique a été formé sans aucune irrigation et la seule chose que nous avons fait, c’est de planter les jeunes pieds d’arbre avec du TerraCottem. Pourquoi les autres projets de reboisement n’organiseraient-ils pas un test avec ce produit belge?


La ferme expérimentale de Guié au Burkina Faso (Experimental farm in Burkina Faso)

Photo crédit: Reporterre

Le 29 novembre, le Burkina Faso a élu un nouveau président, marquant l’espoir après vingt-sept ans de dictature. À 60 km de Ouagadougou, la capitale de ce petit pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest, la ferme expérimentale de Guiè développe des techniques innovantes pour stopper l’avancée du sable.

Au Burkina Faso, un laboratoire en plein air contre la désertification

par Léonor Lumineau (Reporterre)

- Guié (Burkina Faso), reportage

Henri Girard, président de Terre verte et directeur et cofondateur de la Ferme de Guiè. -  http://www.reporterre.net/local/cache-vignettes/L700xH467/img_3652_-_v1-bdf07.jpg
Henri Girard, président de Terre verte et directeur et cofondateur de la Ferme de Guiè. – http://www.reporterre.net/local/cache-vignettes/L700xH467/img_3652_-_v1-bdf07.jpg

Il faut d’abord quitter Ouagadougou la poussiéreuse par la route de Kongoussi. Traverser le ballet agité des motocyclettes, le marché des portes de la capitale burkinabé, là où les dinas surchargés récupèrent le voyageur au milieu des étals pour l’emmener vers la province. Puis la route bitumée file droit vers le Nord, balayée par le souffle de l’harmattan, ce vent chaud et sec venu du Sahel. Le paysage est encore relativement vert en ce mois de novembre, début de la saison sèche. Mais au fur et à mesure du trajet, les touffes végétales s’espacent, jaunissent, laissant apparaitre à certains endroits des étendues de terre zébrées de couleurs allant de l’ocre vif au gris foncé. Puis il faut emprunter une piste. Au dernier carrefour, les arbres se multiplient. La route est encadrée d’eucalyptus et d’autres essences. Ils indiquent le chemin jusqu’à la Ferme de Guiè.

Crée dans le village du même nom, l’endroit est un lieu d’expérimentation de techniques agricoles depuis 26 ans. Son but : restaurer et refertiliser les terres désertifiées des régions sahéliennes. Changement climatique, hausse de la démographie, surpâturage, agriculture extensive, le phénomène s’est aggravé durant les dernières décennies. Pour l’endiguer, la Ferme de Guiè a mis au point un concept agricole : le bocage sahélien, wégoubri, en langue mooré. Bien connu en France, le bocage est un paysage de champs et de prés enclos par des haies. Il permet de retenir l’eau et de limiter l’érosion des terres, tout en créant des corridors biologiques et une source de bois.

Un « enfant du bocage »

« On construit des haies pour lutter contre la dégradation du sol et protéger les cultures du vent. Quand il pleut, ça permet d’empêcher l’eau de la mousson d’emporter tout, de garder la bonne terre. En plus les feuilles mortes fertilisent le sol, font de l’humus », explique Mariam Sampebgo, responsable de la pépinière, devant un parterre de petites pousses plantées dans des sachets plastique d’eau réutilisés. « Nous utilisons principalement deux arbustes : le Combretum micranthum et le Cassia sieberiana. Mais pour cela, il a fallu tester plusieurs essences. Car toutes ne sont pas adaptées. Au début par exemple, nous utilisions du Jatropha curcas. Jusqu’à ce que nous constations qu’il était décimé par les termites dans les sols appauvris », explique la femme à la chevelure finement tressée.

JPEG - 171.1 ko
Les bâtiments administratifs de la Ferme de Guiè. Les six périmètres bocagers entourent la ferme.

L’histoire commence en 1989 lorsque Henri Girard, technicien agricole, et les paysans du village de Guiè posent la première pierre de cette ferme pilote. Ce Français alors âgé de 28 ans, originaire de la région bocagère de l’Avesnois, dans le Nord-Pas-de-Calais, et qui se définit lui-même comme un « enfant du bocage », a passé l’année 1987 au Burkina Faso – sac à dos sur les épaules et maigres économies en poche – à rencontrer des paysans.

Continuez à lire cet article: Reporterre


Read the full text in French: Reporterre

Community garden for women

Photo credit WVC 2000-07-02-Sorghum.jpg

During the rainy season the landowner occupies the field to plant Sorghum.  As the soil in the community garden (background) has been conditioned with TerraCottem in 1997 and the village women have since that year laboured the garden, sorghum production is significantly higher in the garden than in the surrounding fields.  See the 2-3 meter high sorghum in the background and the 50 cm high one in the foreground.


Community garden (Horticulture) in Burkina Faso

by Willem Van Cotthem (Ghent University – Belgium)

Together with my team of the Ghent University and in cooperation with the Dutch Committee Maastricht-Niou, I have set up different development projects in Burkina Faso since 1988. Reforestation and creation of community gardens for women have been the main topics (see other postings).

In 1997, we started the application of the soil conditioner TerraCottem (TC), as a project of the Belgian TC-DIALOGUE Foundation. In the community garden for women of the village of Niou (Kourweogo Province, Burkina Faso), some 2500 square meter of the vegetable garden were treated with that water and fertilizer saving soil conditioner. A smaller part of the garden remained untreated (control plot).

Capacity building
Photo WVC 1997-07: Capacity building in the garden : members of the local women’s association Gueswende got information about TC-application and its role (Photo Monique Van Endert 1997)

First labour phase : preparing the garden beds (1 m broad to make cultivation actions from both sides more easy). The hard, sun dried soil is broken to a depth of 20 cm, a very difficult job because of the small and simple tools.

Preparing garden 01
Photo WVC 1997-07: Breaking the hard and dry soil was a very painfull job for every woman

Second phase : spreading the granular TC over the surface at the right rate (100 g TC per square meter equals 3 handfulls).

Photo 1997-07: Gueswende’s president showed the female members and some young men of the village how to distribute TC over the cultivation beds (Photo Monique Van Endert 1997)

As the application is really easy, all local women soon started to cover their garden beds with the white TC-granules.

Distribution TC 02
Photo WVC 1997-07: Every garden bed was treated with the optimal dosage of TC

Third phase : once the garden beds covered with TC, the women started mixing it with the soil by turning it over to a depth of 20 cm with their handmade digging hoes. They sustained their labour rhythm with a traditional song.

1997-07-Preparing garden 03
Photo WVC 1997-07-Preparing garden 03: Women singing while doing the hard work

In December 1997, we visited this community garden of Niou again, accompanied by Luc VAN LOON, journalist of the Belgian FLAIR magazine, who wrote different articles on development cooperation in Burkina Faso. Nice pictures were taken by photographer Monique VAN ENDERT. The desertified poor garden was totally transformed into a lush green oasis, surrounded by some trees, e.g. Eucalyptus trees, acidifying the soil underneath.

1997-12-01-General view 01 copy
Photo M. VAN ENDERT 1997-12-01-General view 01 copy – Five months after the start of the project, the community garden is like an oasis in the extremely dry area

Fourth phase : in this garden, each of 36 local women cultivated many beds with a number of vegetable species : tomato, cabbage, lettuce, onion, egg plant, raddish, red beet, potato etc. Some irrigation water was at hand in two garden wells and distributed with buckets. Thanks to the presence of the water stocking TC in the soil, only 50 % of the normal irrigation volume was needed to keep the garden beds in good condition, sufficiently humid to avoid hydric stress for the vegetables. Less irrigation needed, also means less labour and more time free for the family or other duties. Plant growth was remarkably good. With half of the irrigation water, production went up to the double.

1997-12-02-General view 02 copy
Photo M. VAN ENDERT 1997-12-02-General view 02 copy: The TC-treated garden was very productive and well kept (almost no weeds)

Each woman decided for herself what kind of vegetables to cultivate. Some produced tomatoes and potatoes, others onions and radishes, cabbages and egg plants or juicy lettuce. What a pleasant feeling to see the splendour of this garden and to listen to the happy women, chatting around the wells.

General view 04Photo M. VAN ENDERT 1997-12-04-General view 04: Garden beds in excellent condition, continuously moistened with the TC up to 20 cm deep

A community garden, where a large number of local women can work together, is also a daily meeting place to improve social contacts. Central point of such a garden is the well. Babies accompany their mother to the garden and stay in the shadow of the trees, where also mint tea is cooked.

General view 07Photo WVC 1997-12-07: Watering the vegetables only takes half of the normal time (50 % irrigation is sufficient to keep the soil humid).

The importance of TC-application in horticulture was easily shown when comparing the vegetable production with that in the non-treated part of the garden. Significant differences in plant production were registered.

1997-12-Non-treated part
Photo WVC1997-12-Non-treated part of the community garden: Less production of vegetables, significantly poorer than the TC-treated part.


Moreover, the women had to irrigate these untreated beds twice a day to keep the soil moistened. Only half of the production with a double volume of irrigation water ! Again a success story in the combat of desertification and the alleviation of poverty. Indeed, the women took a certain part of the vegetables to the local market, thus enhancing their annual income.

Originally published at:


Reforestation the easy way

Photo credit: Photo WVC 1998-12 Fraternisation 10 copy

Bois de la Fraternisation – Arbolle – Burkina Faso

Remarkable reforestation in Burkina Faso

by Willem Van Cotthem (Ghent University – Belgium)

In 1988, I was invited by the Dutch Committee Maastricht-Niou to carry out a reforestation project with my team of the University of Ghent (Belgium) in the village of Niou (Kourweogo Province, Burkina Faso). I will describe the success of that project later. Today, attention is paid to a similar reforestation project, set up in 1988 together with the Canadian Cooperation in Arbolle (Passoré Province, Burkina Faso).

It was decided to plant seedlings of a number of tree species with different dosages of TerraCottem soil conditioner (TC) on a clayey soil, completely barren in 1988 due to heavy deforestation by the local villagers during the preceeding years.

Start project
Hard clayey field completely denuded, due to firewood collection

First, plant pits were created and the excavated soil was mixed with different dosages of TC to study the optimal dosage under these local conditions. Some plant pits functioned as control plots (no TC was added to the local soil).

1988-07 Participation of local people in plant pit preparation
1988-07 Participation of local people in plant pit preparation

At the start of the project in July 1988, the young saplings were 40-50 cm high on average. Thanks to some good rains during the rainy season (June-October), the hydrogels of the TC soil conditioner could stock a large quantity of water and they delivered this water gradually to the growing young trees during the 8 months long dry season. Thereby, the saplings continued their growth without any need for irrigation.

In December 1988, six months after planting, the growth of the individual trees was measured to compare growth differences due to a difference in TC-dosage.

Measuring growth
1988-12 Measuring growth of individual trees

Very soon, it became quite clear that TC had an interesting positive effect on tree growth. A dosage of 100 g of TC per plant pit showed to be close to optimal in these conditions. Due to our activities on the field, the soil was scarified by trampling and seeds of grasses and other weeds germinated and developed into a sparse vegetation cover.

Young acacias
1988-12 Young trees already show differences in outgrowth

Acacia nilotica saplings developed remarkably well, in particular with the optimal dosage of 100 g TC per plant pit.

Acacia nilotica
Acacia nilotica saplings continued to grow in the dry season without any irrigation

In April 1989, we returned to the project to carry out new measurements. What a splendid view it was ! Almost all trees, except the control ones (without TC in the soil), were still brightly green with developing young leaves, a very exceptional situation during the dry season. Some saplings had disappeared, not because of the drought, but destroyed by locusts and termites.

tree growth
1989-04 Green saplings in the dry season

In July 1990, two years after the start of the project, the original barren field was already transformed into a green area. Young trees were developing, accordingly to the dosage of TC in the plant pit. Another interesting aspect was the development of different species of weeds around the individual trees. Indeed, seeds of these weeds were blown in by the wind and those falling on the plant pit surface found relatively humid conditions in which they could germinate and grow (see green disks around the trees).

Young wood
1990-07 Two years after plantation, the young trees were developing splendidly without any supplementary irrigation or fertilization

Some of the Acacia nilotica trees already had exceptional dimensions. It was almost unbelievable that these trees had grown to a height of more than 2 meters without any additional treatment. The only thing we did, was to plant the seedlings in July 1988 with a certain dosage of TC and let the rain make the TC functioning as a reservoir of water and nutrients. Such a growth was never seen before in these circumstances.

Acacia nilotica
1990-07 I was so happy seeing these fantastic two years old trees

The general aspect of the plantation was changing gradually. Not only the young trees were continuously growing all year long, but the originally barren soil became slowly covered with grasses and other weeds. This “nature restoration” was an important secondary effect of the soil conditioning with TC.

Acacias growing
1990-07 Quickly changing general outlook of the plantation

In July 1994, six years after the start of the project, a splendid young wood was formed. Tree canopies were closing and the vegetation cover on the surface was also closing more and more. Of course, the flowering plants started to attract numerous animal species : insects, birds, mice, squirrels etc. Biodiversity enhanced significantly.

Wood 01
1994-07 Splendid young wood in 6 years time

In 1998, 10 years after plantation, nothing can be seen anymore of the original barren area : a remarkable success was booked with this reforestation project. Trees were already several meters high and the vegetation on the surface became very dense.

Wood 10 years
1998-12 Remarkable success of the reforestation project

It is nice to know that since 1998 the same successes were booked with TC-reforestation projects in many other countries.

Originally published at:




Photo credit: WVC 1994-07 – Bois de la Fraternisation in Arbolle (Burkina Faso),

Belgian TC-Dialogue with Canadian Cooperation

Happy to remind me of an former publication in the CBD Magazine 2002

by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (Belgium)


Arbolle 1988-07 at the start of the project (Photo credit - WVC)
Arbolle 1988-07 at the start of the project (Photo credit – WVC)


Click on the text to enlarge the size

Arbolle 1990-07 - Young wood developing thanks to soil conditioner TerraCottem
Arbolle 1990-07 – Young wood developing thanks to soil conditioner TerraCottem
Arbolle 1998-12 : Ten years after plantation with TerraCottem soil conditioner, the Bois de la Fraternisation (Wood of Fraternization) is a remarkable success. Reforestation at its best. (Photo credit WVC)
Arbolle 1998-12 : Ten years after plantation with TerraCottem soil conditioner, the Bois de la Fraternisation (Wood of Fraternization) is a remarkable success. Reforestation at its best.
(Photo credit WVC)

Reforestation in Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, women find simple solutions to bring back trees

Originally posted on CIFOR’s Forests News

A simple fence that protects against grazing livestock and bush fires is all it’s taken to transform three hectares on Bertin Doamba’s farm in central Burkina Faso from denuded and degraded land into a bio-diverse little dryland forest.

The enclosure, which Doamba and his family established in 2009 with the support of the Burkinabe NGO Tiipaalga – or “New Tree” in the Moré language spoken in parts of Burkina Faso – has resulted in remarkable regeneration of soil, vegetation and ecosystem.

“It’s given me a new lease on life, even extended life for me,” says Doamba. “We even have our pharmacy in this enclosure, with all the medicinal plants.”

But that is just a tiny fraction of what this verdant mini-landscape affords the family.

The grasses that flourish in the enclosure provide fodder for the family’s cows, goats and sheep, and cash income when livestock are sold.

Read the full article: Global Landscape Forum


See the video:

Green Treasure of the Sahel


Green Treasure of the Sahel

Photo credit: WVC 1994-07

Reforestation project with the soil conditioner TerraCottem – Bois de la Fraternisation – Arbolle (Burkina Faso) 1988-1994 – Project of TC-Dialogue (Belgium)


VIDEO : https://youtu.be/0360iMXnxeY

WEST AFRICA SPECIAL: Watch – Green Treasure of the Sahel


In Burkina Faso, in West Africa, deforestation has reduced income and livelihoods.

Simple steps have helped families deal with the loss of trees and brought their farms back to life.

Green Treasure of the Sahel travels with one family as they go on a journey of discovery across the country to find out how they too can bring life back to their land.

A longer version of Green Treasure of the Sahel is available here.

Read more of CIFOR’s West Africa special:

In Burkina Faso, small solutions and big returns

In Burkina Faso, disappearing rains and new realities

Innovations that should be applied at the largest scale

Photo credit: CCAFS-CGIAR

Photo-story: Fair promotes farmer innovations in West Africa

by Sékou Touré and Maïmouna Fané (CCAFS West Africa)

To help promote local innovations, Burkina Faso hosted the Innovation Fair Farmers in West Africa.

Group photo with Jury members, the winners and organizers. - https://ccafs.cgiar.org/sites/default/files/images/IMG_0113.JPG
Group photo with Jury members, the winners and organizers. – https://ccafs.cgiar.org/sites/default/files/images/IMG_0113.JPG

Burkina Faso hosted on 15 and 16 May the Innovation Fair Farmers in West Africa (FIPAO). This event aimed to draw attention to farmer innovation and the role of peasant producers in agricultural research, and to facilitate interaction, linkages and learning between all relevant actors. It also helped promote family farming through the development of innovative farmers.

In addition to presenting the innovations, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) sponsored a video contest to document farmer innovations in the face of climate change. Video-makers from Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal prepared videos that were screened at the fair. See the videos.

Read the full article: CCAFS-CGIAR

Desertification and hunger

Photo credit: Christian Today

The Louda dam in Burkina Faso was designed to hold 4 million cubic metres of water.

Deserts are getting bigger, which means people are going hungrier

by Lucinda Borkett-Jones

The water collected in the Louda dam used to provide people in the 206 surrounding villages. - Christian Aid/Andrew Testa - http://d.christiantoday.com/en/full/29686/desert.jpg?w=760&h=506&l=50&t=40
The water collected in the Louda dam used to provide people in the 206 surrounding villages. – Christian Aid/Andrew Testa – http://d.christiantoday.com/en/full/29686/desert.jpg?w=760&h=506&l=50&t=40


We know that the climate is changing; we know that ice caps are melting, that rainfall patterns are changing, but we’re not always that good at connecting these facts with the effect on the land.

Northern Burkina Faso is in the Sahel region, a largely arid belt across the middle of Africa which borders the Sahara. Many areas of the Sahel suffer from desertification, with regular droughts and deterioration of the land from over-farming.

The dusty landscape above was the Louda dam – built in 1959, for years it was a model for dam-building and rice farming irrigation around the country. But in recent years the rains have been more erratic and so the water levels in the dam have been much lower.

The photo can’t convey the size of it. Where there are now only a few muddy puddles of water with children looking for fish with nets, in years gone by you could have waded into the water and collected a large amount of fish just with your shirt.

Christian Aid/Andrew Testa

You wouldn’t expect it to be full in February (half way through the dry season) when this photo was taken, but it’s certainly not a good sign that it’s empty. This year at its height it only reached half its full capacity. In 2012 it was even lower, something that affected the whole region which was beset by a major food crisis that year.

The water collected in the dam used to provide people in the 206 surrounding villages (about 250,000 people) with water for drinking, washing, farming and construction. As a result of the drying of the dam, there has been a decline of more than two thirds of the agricultural production in the area.

Read the full article: Christian Today

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