Saturday, March 14, 2009

Serious Erosion in Ghana

Villages can have a serious erosion problem. Just a little below Paul's hand is where the ground level used to be. But because of erosion, the ground has washed away to the level you see in the picture. Fortunately, there are some guys here fighting the erosion and are having success. They just haven't gotten to this point in the village yet.

Ghanaian women have a custom of sweeping the dirt. This might seem odd to people to many people reading this blog, but in their environment it makes a little bit of sense. Most of the ground around houses/huts is exposed dirt. Most places do not have grass. As they walk on this dirt and often is in a space for relaxing or cooking, they want to keep big pebbles and other "rubbish" out of the area. This means that the heavy rains are capable of causing major erosion.

What most of the women don't seem to realize is that if they stopped sweeping, the grass would grow. Here grass seems to grow without any problem or needing daily waterings. How many reminders I have had of the waste in the Western way of life? Why don't we find local grass or ground cover that can survive local climates and not require the constant watering? When will we stop being so concerned with beautiful lawns at the expense of our environment and water supply?

No comments: