Our area, Kasenga in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has had soil erosion problems for a very long time. A large ravine or gully has developed in the main town. Two main roads are today cut through by the growing ravine, many houses are being destroyed and soon access to the central port may be blocked.
In Munene, a pilot project was begun after a campaign of awareness-raising by the organisation Action for Holistic Rural Development (ADRI). After a series of training workshops, five members of the Village Development Committee decided to take action to stop the spread of the ravine, which was developing in the old Chimambo river. Last year this ravine was 4–5m deep (see photo).
The coordinator of ADRI joined the team. Tree trunks and branches as well as straw were used in this work. After the first rains, the level of the ground rose. The work continued and thanks to our success, many people joined the project. Children, important people, women and men began to contribute to the activity: authorising trees to be cut down, giving straw from abandoned houses that were falling down or carrying materials. At the end of the rainy season, we could see that the level of the ground had risen considerably, and the old paths could be used again.
The programme this year will include planting banana trees and other plants that conserve the soil along the raised area. We thank Tearfund and Pas à Pas sincerely for Issue 15 on soil erosion, which was very useful for us in training the population.
Mwanza K Chibamba, Coordinator, ADRI, PO Box 20478, Kitwe, Zambia.