Inicio Internacional Con técnica ancestral, hombre creó bosque de 60 acres en el desierto

Con técnica ancestral, hombre creó bosque de 60 acres en el desierto

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La región del bosque de Gourga cubre unos 60 acres. Está situado 184 kilómetros al norte de Ouagadougou, la capital de Burkina Faso, en África occidental. Lo que llama la atención de este lugar es que en épocas de sequía, la vegetación en esta parte del norte es impresionante e intrigante, es un bosque en una supuesta zona árida.

Afrontando una disminución constante de las lluvias durante varias décadas, unida a una gran presión demográfica, el norte del país ha experimentado una progresiva degradación de su medio ambiente y una reducción de su rendimiento agrícola.

Según datos del Onedd (Observatorio Nacional de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible de Burkina Faso), en junio de 2011 la región fue una de las tres zonas donde la erosión del suelo alcanzó su máximo (con un índice de 3,1 sobre 5) y la tasa de deterioro de la tierra fue significativa. Según el Onedd, en junio del 2013, el 74,1 por ciento de la superficie total del país (273.828 kilómetros cuadrados) estaba sufriendo desertificación, deterioro de los suelos y sequía.

¿Cómo puede crecer un bosque en área así?

Este es el trabajo de Yacouba Sawadogo, de 80 años, conocido como ‘El hombre que detuvo el desierto’.

Para llevar a cabo esta tarea hercúlea, desarrolló una técnica innovadora llamada Zaï. ¿De dónde sacó la idea? Según Sawadogo, aprendió de la tierra. “A fines de los años 60, los predicadores pronosticaron una sequía sin precedentes en nuestra ciudad. Ante un presagio tan espantoso, decidí abandonar mi negocio de venta de repuestos y dedicarme a la agricultura. Para entender cómo se regenera la naturaleza, pasé dos años vagando por las tierras de mi pueblo, a veces a pie, a veces a caballo”.

Al final de estos dos años de “comunión” con la tierra, se le ocurrió la idea de Zaï, que es una técnica para la preparación del suelo durante la estación seca. Se trata de cavar pequeños agujeros en el suelo y llenarlos con residuos orgánicos. A su vez, estos residuos atraen termitas, nativas de este entorno. A medida que se instalan en los pequeños huecos, las termitas cavan túneles diminutos que permiten la recolección del agua de lluvia durante la estación de lluvias. Ahora sólo queda sembrar las semillas.

Yacouba Sawadogo no se detuvo allí. Con el tiempo se ha convertido en un maestro zaï. Hoy en día llena los pequeños agujeros con una mezcla de material orgánico, compuesta de abono y estiércol y mezclada con tallos de mijo triturado. No sólo planta semillas para su campo, también planta semillas de árboles.

Su táctica inicial resultó ser un verdadero golpe maestro. El experimento de Yacouba está ganando terreno poco a poco. Alrededor de su campo ahora se encuentra un bosque que se extiende entre 62 y 67 acres, según las estimaciones de los GPS. Atrae a muchas aves que, a su vez, traen nuevas semillas y contribuyen a la diversidad de la fauna. Esta es la razón por la que se pueden encontrar especies de vegetación local común aquí. “Traté de sembrar semillas de árboles que habían desaparecido de la zona. Expertos de la capital vienen a estudiar estos árboles”, dice Yacouba Sawadogo con orgullo.

Traté de sembrar semillas de árboles que habían desaparecido de la zona. Expertos de la capital vienen a estudiar estos árboles

Los animales también obtienen su parte justa. Cuando uno pasea por el bosque se topa con pequeñas ollas de arcilla tradicionales (canaris). Son, en realidad, abrevaderos para los pájaros, los roedores, los reptiles, y las liebres que habitan el bosque -un ecosistema genuino en medio de este árido espacio-.

El bosque de Gourga amenazado

Para preservar este conocimiento, el Sr. Sawadogo decidió compartir sus técnicas con los que le rodeaban. Para ello creó una pequeña feria que llama el mercado Zaï, en su ciudad natal de Gourga (4 kilómetros al oeste de Ouahigouya).

Este evento ha atraído a productores de todo el país. La feria incluye presentaciones de variedades vegetales y herramientas que funcionan bien con la técnica zaï y habla de temas y novedades relacionadas con la producción agrícola y pastoral. La iniciativa culminó con la creación de una Asociación de Consorcios Zaïs para el Desarrollo del Sahel (Association des groupements Zaï pour le développement du Sahel).

Y sin embargo, recientemente una amenaza se cierne sobre esta reserva. “Hoy hago un llamamiento sincero a las autoridades de mi país. El esquema de vivienda está destruyendo el ecosistema”, lamenta el Sr. Sawadogo.

Hace unos años, la ciudad se extendió hasta el pueblo de Gourga y ahora la urbanización ha llegado al bosque. Las parcelas se han despejado para los proyectos de viviendas dentro del bosque y en algunas la construcción ya está en marcha.

Una catástrofe, según este tenaz pionero, que espera ser escuchado por las autoridades.

Fuente: L’ECONOMISTE DU FASO

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