South Africa
Special Theme: Soil
Posted by Bambanani Primary School, South Africa on 17 November 2015
Some of the learners evalueating the donga
Some of the learners evalueating the donga's caused by people extracting soils for clay bricks

Our special theme this year was soil. Soil is the top layer of the Earth’s surface. It is made up of particles of broken rock that has been weathered and eroded. Soil is essential for our survival because most food come from agriculture, which needs soil. Animals or living things need soil to live and because soil takes hundreds of years to form, we are using it faster than it is being produced therefore soil is considered a non-renewable resources. The main use of soil is for growing crops. However, soil is also used in construction and industry. For an example, in our community bricks are made from a special type of soil called clay, and sand is used to make glass. That is why we at Bambanani Primary School take a stand on preserving it. Learners, teachers, the eco committee and non educators decided to use organic fertilisers like kraal manure, leaves and grass to enrich our soil, rather than using inorganic fertilisers, because chemical fertilisers dissolved when they get wet (from irrigation/watering or rain) and then the chemicals seep into the ground water, rivers and dams and contaminate it (lesson social science). Using inorganic fertilizers also can make the soil salty after many years of use. We used organic fertilisers because we wanted to conserve the life in our soil and to be sustainable. We also mulch (placing grass leaves) our soil after watering our plants and vegetables to avoid sun rays from evaporating it and prevent erosion. Indigenous plants and grass were also planted to prevent soil erosion. We call this a green blanket to protect our valuable soils.

As a results of our efforts, we are proud to say that our soils are far more fertile. Our harvests have been good this year, we were able to sell our vegetables to the parents and made R300 to buy more seedlings.
Some of the problems we experienced was that community is not compliant, some people insist of digging up the clay to make brick and this results in erosion donga’s. For next year we will try to rehabilitate dongas with the help of initiative in the area.

Local Partner African Conservation Trust

Water Explorer is a Global Action Plan initiative
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