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Paul Truong

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Ho Chi Minh Highway

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Ho Chi Minh Highway
Vetiver has done its job! 14 years later stable slopes, clean road drains, and now mainly native species

Vetiver System for Stabilizing Congo Highway slopes

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It is really good to see what can be done in the Africa with vetiver when it is applied correctly.  Alain Ndona is a young Congolese engineer from Kinshasha who has over the past 10 years been applying vetiver to large highway projects and for the stabilization and rehab of major urban gullies (the latter swallow up whole communities of houses as gully expands.  Alain is now in charge of the vetiver section for one of China's largest construction companies that is working in the Congo.

Here follows two notes from Alain and his close colleague Dale Rachmeler:

Alain: "CHINA STATE CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING CORPORATION LTD from Beijing. It is the main contractor with the Congolese Government and leads many others Chinese subcontractor companies.

The designs of these highway project are verified and approved by Egis (a major French design company) who I’m working with - I’m in charge of design and implementation of vetiver system for these project. The Chinese company staff have only limited knowledge about vetiver.

I have finished a short training in situ on a small part of slope for some Chinese technicians from the Beijing company and their subcontractor companies to show them how the vetiver technology must be implemented and we are waiting to see after a time how the vetiver will work on these trial".

Dale: "This effort that Alain is working on with the Chinese in Central Africa is a real treat to watch evolve. Alain began using vetiver back in 2002 and has now more than 10 years of field experience in a very difficult environment, i.e, poor soils, expensive inputs, heavy rainfall and low knowledge of many technical experts. However, his work on urban erosion control in collaboration with Roley Noffke of Hydromulch, and his work with the French Engineering firm Egis is paying dividends on road stabilization programs and other infrastructure stabilization programs. The current effort which involves among other things the importation of a million slips of Vetiver from China is simply amazing! The size and scope of the effort is stunning and I am happy to have had pleasure of working with Alain from 2003-2006."

Other work by Alain can be found at:






Countries in Africa, particularly those in West Africa, including Nigeria, should be advised to pay attention to what Alain has done as similar applications can be applied to those countries which face very similar problems

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