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Japanese NGO Involved in Clay Ball Afforestation Project in Kenya
Date: 20070328 Category: Ecosystem Player: NGO/Citizen
The Yokohama Art Project, a Japanese non-profit organization (NPO), has
been involved since 2005 in the Rainmaker Project, a project for
recovering vegetation in Kenya using clay balls that contain plant
seeds. The goal of this project is to transform African dry land into
the land filled with trees and plants with more rain fall. Yokohama Art
Project was established in 2001 to vitalize people and communities
through art activities by citizens. Considering this greening activity
as a type of art to help create a brighter future, the NGO is actively
working on the Rainmaker Project.
The idea for the project came when Mr. Ryuji Enokida, head of the
organization, was talking with a friend who had visited Africa. The
friend described the state of desertification in Africa and told him
that vegetation covering an area of 10 square kilometers or more can
cause rainfall. Afforestation using clay balls was developed by Mr.
Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese farmer who is promoting natural farming.
The clay balls are made by mixing clay soil, water and seeds, forming
small balls, and drying them before sowing. In this way, the seeds in
the clay balls are protected from drying out and also from small animals
that eat seeds.
In March 2006, the NGO staff and local people began scattering the clay
balls in a one hectare semi-desert area. The results were better than
expected; not only did the seeds in the clay balls germinated, but also
dormant native seeds were activated as a result of the environmental
change. A second sowing was carried out in September 2006 in four areas,
for a total of eight hectares. The sowing program is to be continued
twice a year just before the rainy season (March and September).
The NGO is also making a documentary film about its greening activities.
After the film is completed around July 2007, any profits will be used
for the Rainmaker Project. As the project is highly appreciated by local
people, it is expected to continue for an extended period of time.
+ + +
Related JFS newsletter is here (May 2006)
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Posted : 2007/03/28(Wed) 15:15:04 Updated : 2007/03/29(Thu) 18:46:42
Data No. : 1675
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