||The rescue of Lalibela Primary school
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A restoration of the hillside using traditional knowledge to stem the erosion, secure the area and restore its environmental properties.
Problems, causes and effects
The geological and geomorphological survey conducted on the hillside in front of the Lalibela Primary School showed a general deterioration of areas exposed to the northeast and northwest. This phenomenon was due to a lack of regimentation of surface water and to a shallow sliding of land in areas having a western exposure. This in turn was due to erosion at the foot of the slope, which caused niches of detached soil to deepen.
To stem the erosion, secure the area and restore its environmental properties, the hillside has been restored using traditional terraces that break the gradient of the slope. These terraces have been replanted with original species typical of the region, such as junipers, pines and sycamores. The vegetation is now luxuriant.
The project has permitted the rescue of a school in the new part of the village, which was destined to slip because of the deforestation of the slopes on which it stands. The Ipogea team and local staff have introduced thousands of plants indigenous to the area, reinforcing the slope and effectively creating a small forest well suited to the extreme climate of the Ethiopian highlands.