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Leicester leads the way towards a sustainable lake in Africa
Date:11/4/2011

ternational Sustainability Unit, which has helped the Kenyan Prime Minister in raising the profile of sustainability up the Kenyan political agenda.

"Ed Morrison met the Kenyan Prime Minister in April, demonstrating to him the manufacture of briquettes, from waste paper and cardboard, for burning on cooking stoves, to replace charcoal from forests; just one of the set of programmes we shall be developing over the next two years". "Others will include restoring wetlands, helping communities harvest rainwater, introducing drip-irrigation and teaching other sustainable farming techniques".

"We see ourselves as catalysts; not as outsiders telling locals what to do, but as partners using our experience in conjunction with a wealth of local expertise to improve and build on the best practices that a few are already implementing."

"One of our most exciting new partners is a teacher, who owns just five acres of land, but grows enough food on that, with almost no external inputs, to support 20-30 people. He has formed the 'Ndabibi Environmental Conservation Centre' and will teach his methods to groups of farmers - whose land is eroding away before their eyes - reaching hundreds over the next few years throughout the catchment. Soil that stays where it should be will grow more food and improve peoples' livelihoods as well as being kept out of the lake".

Lake Naivasha has also become the major case study for a British government-funded programme, called 'Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation' from which the Leicester group are also funded. "Finding ways in which the great bounty of nature can support people sustainably - in the UK as well as in Kenya - is the major scientific challenge of the 21st Century" concluded Harper. "Without functioning ecosystems, humans have a bleak future into the 22nd Century, quite apart from climate change. Technological and medical wonders will not help society if we cannot keep our water and soil in good
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Contact: Dr. David M. Harper
dmh@le.ac.uk
44-116-252-3344
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert  

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