15,000 trees to combat desertification in Ethiopia

by WeForest
15,000 trees to combat desertification in Ethiopia
Mar 12, 2018

Enhancing forest restoration with new technology

Tree sapling planted in water saving gel
Tree sapling planted in water saving gel

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!

Small gel balls release water when soil is dry
Small gel balls release water when soil is dry
Degraded dry Afromontane forest in Tigray
Degraded dry Afromontane forest in Tigray
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Organization Information


Location: Brussels - Belgium
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @WeForest_org
Project Leader:
Maurah Van Impe
Overijse, Belgium

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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