Burkina Faso: a beginning in pictures

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About a month ago, just before the rainy season, we visited our reforestation project in Burkina Faso.

Our local partner, Hommes et Terre, is pioneering a radically inclusive approach to tree-planting. The villagers elect a “strategic committee” and a "village cell” that are involved in every step of reforesting their home.

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Some villagers had travelled for three days to meet us in the capital, Ouagadougou, and discuss the future of their reforestation project.

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We also got to know seven village chiefs, who play a key part in mobilising their communities.

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Thanks to your searches, and thanks to the villagers’ know-how, over four million trees have already been planted in Burkina Faso.

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Early next day, we travelled to one of our planting sites south of Ouagadougou. When we arrived, the entire village was digging seedbeds, despite the fierce heat. The half-moon-shaped seedbeds allow the seeds to sprout by preventing the rain from running off.

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Not all of the seedbeds are dug by hand. In some areas, a tractor is used.

We discovered that a combination of both methods works best. Mechanical labor is fast. But manual labor can be applied in areas that are difficult to reach and provides people with a salary during the dry season.

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That day, the 45ºC degree heat reminded us that, for those living in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso, shade trees aren’t a luxury: they’re necessary.

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Thank you for fighting desertification with your searches. Thank you for improving soil fertility and water availability in the driest regions of Burkina Faso. Thank you, Ecosians, for the trees – and for the hope they give us.

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