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Charcoal briquettes and water harvesting in Uganda

December 12, 2012:

One of ARC's partners in Africa has released an inspiring new video showing the conservation work of Gomba Women's Environment Project in Uganda.

In the video, which has been uploaded to YouTube, project director Hajjat Aphwa Kaawaase Sebyala shows a variety of practical activities undertaken by the women of Gomba, such as using intercropping; for example, planting pine plantations (sold for timber) with beans and cassava, or maize with banana.

As well as making better use of available land, planting a variety of crops has benefits for soil health and biodiversity.

The Gomba women harvest water, with tanks erected to collect rainwater from the village roofs and ditches dug and lined with plastic to store water in the rainy season for use in the dry season.

They also use recycled plastic water bottles to drip-feed water to growing tree seedlings. One bottle can take a week to empty, says Hajjat, giving the plant a much needed moisture boost in the dry season.

The video also show the Gomba project members making charcoal briquettes from left-over crop residues. As well as using the charcoal briquettes instead of firewood (thus reducing forest destruction), they sell the briquettes to earn extra money.

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