Recycled quarry opens in Kenya
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CTA. 1992. Recycled quarry opens in Kenya. Spore 37. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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Large limestone quarries near Mombasa on the Kenya coast which once supplied a nearby cement works, have been reopened, this time to the public. Over twenty years ago a Swiss agronomic engineer from Baobab Farm Ltd put forward the idea of planting...
Large limestone quarries near Mombasa on the Kenya coast which once supplied a nearby cement works, have been reopened, this time to the public. Over twenty years ago a Swiss agronomic engineer from Baobab Farm Ltd put forward the idea of planting 70ha of Casuarina equisetifolia, a tree which copes well with poor soil and slightly saline ground water, in order to get the site back into good condition after a long period of disuse. The dead leaves from the tree formed humus, thanks to the introduction of red millipedes which speeded up the process. The site gradually reverted to its natural condition and 20 years after the first Casuarina trees were planted, more than 400 species of fauna were found to be present, including 25 species of mammal and many insects. A tilapia farm was set up, as well as a crocodile rearing scheme and a rice paddy which provides a natural filter for the water. Tourists are now flocking to the old quarry at a rate of about 40,000 a year. They come to see Patty, the hippopotamus brought from Germany, some giant Aldabra turtles which are under threat of extinction and a snake park opened in 19S7. Trials have also been undertaken to acclimatize species, such as the prawn and giant snail for commercial rearing. Banana trees, hybrid oil palms and mango trees have also been planted. Baobab Farm stands alone in Africa as an example of how to 'recycle' a former quarry. The landscape, which was almost lunar, is now an oasis and is nicknamed 'Green Valley' by the inhabitants of Mombasa. A great deal has been learned from the experiment, especially in terms of fishfarming, and the concepts warrant careful consideration and possibly imitation. There are similar schemes planned in Saudi Arabia, the Congo, Fiji, Kuwait and Taiwan. Baobab Farm Ltd PO Box 9O202 Nairobi, KENYA
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