EFA is pleased to present to its friends and partners the sustainability and business plan for the Biodiversity and Renewable Energy Learning Centre, which is currently under construction. A formal opening of the centre is planned for June 2014.
Please circulate this plan as widely as possible and do feel free to send your comments and suggestions (if any) to Tommy Garnett
We look forward to hearing from you.
Development Progress of the Learning Centre
The EFA Biodiversity and Renewable Energy Learning Centre (BRELC) or “Learning Centre” having concluded its construction is now on its way to opening. The main structure was finished at the end of 2013. To aid its water harvesting potential, water capture and diversion elements have been completed, which will redirect water from the building and protect the earth from eroding. Also two stormwater swales to capture surface runoff water and encourage percolation back into the soil have been finished, which will further reduce soil erosion and recharge groundwater supplies.
Furthermore compost toilets have been built, to demonstrate to visitors a greener, waterless and inexpensive method of waste management. A tree nursery has been established, which includes indigenous plants, vulnerable species, trees and plants that are valued by local communities (e.g. for nutrition, fuel, medicinal properties). Four gardens: An ornamental, a medicinal, an urban and a permaculture garden are being planted to demonstrate the indigenous plant species in Sierra Leone as well as examples of different gardens visitors can create at home. These gardens will also help to limit any ground erosion at the Learning Centre.
The training of forest and BRELC guards is currently underway. The students are attending two days of theory and three of practical work a week at the BRELC. The guards will provide visitors with an educationally rich experience of the Learning Centre through interactive walking trails to promote knowledge about the forest and its biodiversity, as well as forest protection.
We look forward to welcoming you in the near future!
Development Progress at the BRELC
16.03.2013 As of this week, all of the foundations, timber support columns, and timber trusses are now in place. The initial developments (Stage 1) of the landscape works are underway, which primarily includes perparatory earthworks and water capture/diversion elements. Construction of a central water channel has begun, which will redirect water away from the building and mitigate erosive effects. In addition, a trench which will capture seasonal springwater for on-site use and irrigation has started.
Two stormwater swales are also underway which will capture surface runoff water and encourage percolation back into the soil, thereby further reducing erosion, and recharging groundwater supplies. The exhibition trails are also being constructed and are composed of cement-stabilised soil paths. The foundations of the dry stone retaining walls have also begun. Research into plant species and Stage 2 landscape works is currently being undertaken.