Sustainable Development: vetiver is a durable but affordable solution
According to the World Bank, Madagascar is ranked in the first place in terms of soil erosion. In fact, Madagascar loses 400 tonnes/ha per year of soil due to erosion. During a round-table, as part of the celebration of the World Day of Environment, that took place at the “Alliance Francaise de Tananarive”, the Manager of the Bemasoandro Plantation, Yoann Coppin, explained: “The erosion-damaged soil usually take many years before reconstituting. In Madagascar, 75% of soil is undergoing serious degradation. Soil erosion affects diverse sectors and infrastructures including transportation, hydro-agriculture, agriculture, human health, due to the degradation of the quality of drinking water and coral reefs which serve as the breeding-ground for many species of fishes. The vetiver system is a durable and affordable solution to these problems.”
This species of vegetation fixes sediments up to 80% and thus increases agricultural products. It is capable of slowing down the streaming of rainwater up to 70% and allows the process of underground infiltration. It fortifies riverbanks, protects rice fields and cleans up dirty waters. Compared to concrete, dike and gabion, vetiver is an affordable solution in terms of infrastructures protection. Its cost is significantly small and it requires 10 times less space than physical protections such as dikes. And even the workforce and techniques needed for the use of vetiver is very much accessible for everyone. However, the participants in the conference advanced that, at least, a technical supervision is required at the beginning in order to get satisfactory results.
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