A. Remove Aquatic Vegetation
In areas identified as high-vegetation zones via satellite imagery mapping, community members are trained to remove vegetation from their local waterways quarterly, both increasing their water access and reducing the risk of schistosomiasis by eliminating the infected snails’ habitat.
The community takes ownership of this process after the training period, and remote sensing technology is currently being evaluated as a potential means of alerting them when vegetation regrowth reaches a critical level.
B. Convert Vegetation to Compost or Livestock Feed
The community members then transform the plants they collect into either soil-enriching compost or livestock feed, supporting the village’s food production needs.
Initial research strongly supports that the effort needed to remove and compost the vegetation is more than matched by increased crop yield. Results of a similar analysis of the vegetation’s use as livestock feed are forthcoming.
C. Turn Vegetation into Fuel
The plants are also used to power biodigesters that produce gas for cooking and lighting.
A cost-effectiveness trial of this process is the next step in program evaluation.