Restoring Tigray’s dry Afromontane forest is a real challenge. In the dry season, which lasts around 9 months, there is serious water scarcity which makes it very difficult for young seedlings to survive.
To overcome this challenge, WeForest and the local team take several precautionary measures. We train community members in post-planting operations for watering and increasing survival, and we plant 10% more seedlings than the number of trees financed to compensate for the higher seedling mortality rates. In addition to that, we are testing a new method for increasing water availability for seedlings with water saving gels.
The gel is semi-synthetic and biodegradable. When it absorbs water, it expands up to 300 times its original size. The gel adheres to the roots of the plant and releases water when the soil moisture drops.
WeForest is testing the use of water saving gels in collaboration with Mekelle University and Ethiopian Bureau of Agriculture. If the tests are successful, the technology will be incorporated in our project management plans, making our impact on people, planet and climate even greater. Thank you for being part of this journey!
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