We just wrapped up our two weeks of intensive training in Permagardens and Resilience Design with USAID TOPS in the Lake Kivu area of the Congo. A dedicated group of students from many organizations working in Food Security, in various areas of this country that has seen so much strife.
Thomas Cole and I facilitated the training to include essential community engagement, participatory mapping, site assessment and analysis, design planning and then implementation and feedback integration. We chose a site for the demonstration on a "shamba" of a woman farmer who was struggling with poor fertility, poor plant growth, no top soils and has been eroding away in the nearly 1500mm of rain received in most years. A perfect place to demonstrate change!
The process brought the community together with the course participants to rebuild the soils and hydrology of her landscape through various slow, spread, sink and save strategies for water and nutrient retention and protection. This was the first such demonstration and training in the region and was enthusiastically received and appreciated.
Resilience Design is just starting to take off in the developing world, and permaculture and agroecology are at its core. Amidst all the troubles of the world, there are so many positive actions taking root. These are exciting times...