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More water in Tunari National Park, Bolivia

Water basin
Photo: Serafin Vidal

Naturefund, AGRECOL Andes and CETM are building simple water basins for smallholder families in Tunari National Park in the municipalities of Sacaba, Tiquipaya, Quillacollo and Vinto, which are located in and around Tunari National Park.

Simple water basins and irrigation systems

Traditionally, farming families irrigate with irrigation ditches. Most families do not have water storage tanks and the existing pipes are outdated and tend to leak.

Naturefund uses simple sprinkler systems and builds round water tanks from local materials, which allow for better distribution and thus more efficient use of water. The techniques used are simple and comparatively low cost. The water tanks are easily transferable to other locations as they are mainly built from local materials such as clay, sand and stones and require few external raw materials. When designing the water basins, the local smallholder families were involved in the planning process from the very beginning. The participation of the families is very important so that they can use the irrigation systems in the future without external technical advice and so that the project can also exist sustainably.

Dynamic agroforestry

Since 2014, Naturefund, together with Agrecol Andes and CETM, has been supporting the dissemination of the sustainable cultivation method Dynamic Agroforestry. At first it started with smallholder families, but increasingly schools and colleges of forestry and agriculture are joining in. This makes it possible to spread the promising method to other rural communities in Bolivia.

The aim of the project is to grow healthy and high-quality food, free of pesticides, for regional consumption. At the same time, the local ecosystem can recover through the planting of new trees. In the first four years alone, Naturefund has planted 20,000n trees together with the farmers, more than half of which were local and often rare tree species. At the same time, the yield in the families' agricultural cultivation has more than doubled. Hence a great demand for training in Dynamic Agroforestry. Naturefund is therefore building a new training building together with CETM.

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