What Are We Doing?

We will run a ten-day training in water harvesting, soil building, and afforestation. During this training we will develop a site in the Machakos region as a demonstration and research site.

Specifically, we will design and install earth works to catch runoff from rainwater. That runoff will be stored up in the soil and will grow multi-purpose trees. Those trees will produce fertility, food, fuel, fiber, and medicines. They will also increase local availability of water and build and protect soil.

We will discuss and practice appropriate methods of afforestation and tree crop management. We will make seed balls and place them appropriately in relation to our water-harvesting earthworks.

At the end of this ten-day training, the participants will have the knowledge and experience to design and install these integrated water-harvesting re-vegetation systems on their own property. We will also have constructed a working demonstration and research site, which workshop participants will be able to revisit to observe the evolution of the system and the effects of their actions. Participants will receive ongoing support in developing other sites, especially in developing the skills to teach these methods to other people.

One of the specific methods for getting plants started will be to use seed balls, which are essentially balls of clay impregnated with seeds.  The clay protects the seeds until there is adequate moisture for them to grow.  Then the clay balls melt and the seeds sprout.  This method has been used with much success in many arid and semi-arid environments, although it has not often been integrated with water-harvesting earthworks.

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