Soil conservation saves the land, even when a hurricane strikes

June 11, 2018
Une traduction pour cet article est disponible en Français

This week’s Farmer story from Tanzania talks about special measures taken by farmers to save soil on steep hillsides. But did you know that these measures can even save your soil during a hurricane? Our Script of the week shows how this can happen.

Natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes cause a lot of damage to farmland. But the amount of damage can be reduced if farmers use soil conservation techniques. For example, farmers can build rock walls, establish grass barriers, add organic matter to the soil, and grow cover crops. Some soil conservation techniques create physical barriers that stop soil from moving. Others use trees or cover crops that hold the soil in place. Many soil conservation techniques aim to hold moisture in the soil. Soil that holds moisture will stay in place while dry soil will be washed or blown away. These are important considerations when disaster strikes.

After Hurricane Mitch hit Central America in 1998, a scientific study compared the damage on farms that used soil conservation measures with farms that did not. Farms that used soil conservation measures suffered much less damage. These farms had deeper topsoil and higher levels of soil moisture.

This week’s script is a true story. It tells the story of Hurricane Mitch in the voices of two farmers who experienced it. One option is to use volunteers to play the characters in this story. They should rehearse before playing their parts in the studio, so that they can act their parts convincingly.