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Vetiver System for Urban Households

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On my recent visit to Ethiopia's western province of Illubabor I saw many excellent example of VS applications to agriculture, as described in another blog and on our website. I failed to mention that in some towns a significant number of householders are using VS around their small homes and gardens.

VS has important applications for rural/urban use where the authorities spend next to nothing on urban maintenance. Vetiver hedges are being used to reinforce existing "stick" fences and to provide privacy. Between the property and the road, often a major highway, Vetiver hedgerows are used to stabilize and stop slope erosion. Within the property vetiver is used to demarcate paths, dry up waste water, protect building foundations from erosion and termites, drive away rats and snakes, provide mattrass stuffing material (protects against bedbugs and other insects), and as a fresh green material is cut for special religious ceremonies.

Outside the home the town authorities could use Vetiver to stabilize and protect drains and stream banks, stabilize road batters, float on ponds to remove N & P, and for ornamental purposes in parks, road roundabout and dividing barriers. Where most other plants cannot survive rough treatment and often very dry conditions, Vetiver can. Of course it is also very useful for improving the efficiency of waste water treatment plants, cleaning industrial effluent, and stabilizing landfills.

So for those of you who work with urban people in developing countries VS should be another tool in your technology tool box.


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