Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
As part of a joint project between the K.U.Leuven and the Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute in Uganda, Annelies De Meyer spent three months in the field studying the pollution of Lake Victoria caused by soil erosion in the surrounding villages. In this study area she has identified the places that are susceptible to soil erosion, and has gathered quantitative data about lake-wards sediment flux from the villages on the edge of the lake. An estimate was made of the level and speed of soil erosion in households and on paths and roads. It appears, for example, that households are responsible for 56% of the total soil loss. Paths and roads are also a major source of sediment transport, together accounting for 22%. Soil erosion was mapped and an analysis made of the connectivity in sediment flux to Lake Victoria. Annelies De Meyer also took an active part in discussions with the local farming and fishing populations on measures to stem the erosion problem. In some places planting grasses may offer a solution, but on paths and roads, for example, other methods must be found.
This work has great relevance to development. The study of soil erosion in villages and settlements and the devising of appropriate ways to reduce it are crucial to the whole population. Erosion is highly detrimental to agricultural yields and the sediment that is transported to the lake causes great problems for the environment and biodiversity. And among other things it also causes a greatly reduced fish catch. This study is also entirely in keeping with the theme of the prize: “Biodiversity and environment for a better life”.
report: Prof. N. Veraverbeke, Centre for Statistics, Universiteit Hasselt, Belgium