Beststar Holding

Using Innovation to Meet Challenges

Beststar Holding

Using Innovation to Meet Challenges

Reversing Desertification

Reversing Desertification
Using Innovative New Techniques

The Algeria Project

BestStar is working together with partners in Algeria to install an innovative water pumping and irrigation system. An area chosen to be a pilot project is a 20km square equating to 40,000 Hectares, this will be divided up into 4000 10Ha plots that will make managing the project easier. The area in question is the Green Dam Track area in the Moudjbara region of the Djelfa Province. This area can accommodate 11,560,000 trees, because of the breaking up of the area into plots this makes a far more manageable number of 2,890 trees per plot. The aim of the project has several outcomes – increasing the density of existing livestock, creating and preparing the areas to produce food crops that will meet the needs of the local population and that of the animal population, medicinal plants and essential oils are also intended to be grown in the area.

To plant in the area, the plants must meet a selection criterion relevant to the area and in the case of trees they must meet three criteria, they must be:
     • Low water consumers
     • Rapid growing
     • Be able to provide economic, social, and environmental benefits.

This project will be carried out in phases that are pre-planned and whose total duration will not exceed five years.

The History of the Area and Potential Future Impact

The original project began in 1974 intending to reforest three million hectares as part of the “great green wall” project, over a length of 1200km ranging from 5-20km wide. The Great Green Wall originally was not a success  due to a lack of funding and the science to say it would flourish was non-existent. One reason for the failure of the trees was large areas of the desert were uninhabited so there were no caretakers for the land.  The creeping desert was not always the root cause of the problem in other areas, overuse was the reason the land was being stripped bare.

 There was criticism from fellow scientists. It is estimated that over 80% of the trees planted died. What did survive was the ideal and farmers in Niger and Burkina Faso led by example, using simple methods for water harvesting and techniques to protect the growing trees that were on already cared for land creating a patchwork of immense proportions that is equally manageable and practical that will now meet the original expectations of the wall.

Food security in the entire area is of the utmost concern, for several reasons. They are, population growth, the Sahel for example is over 3000 miles wide-ranging from Atlantic to Indian Oceans, there is low rainfall and frequent droughts, now with more adverse weather conditions affecting the globe this area is equally affected by greater extremes of rainfall, meaning that the survival of edible crops can be at risk. This coupled with rapid population growth necessitates the need for action, the population in this area and much of Africa from 1950s to a century later in 2050 some figures say it could be more than a ten-fold increase. 

So, for example, Nigeria in the 1950s had a population of just under 38 million, today that population is 211 million, and in 2050 it is estimated to be over 400 million. This story is reflected across the planet with the world population in 2050 estimated to be around 10 billion, up over 2 billion from today’s 7.8 billion and only 2.5 billion in 1950. The growth figures also estimate that from now until then we will see 2/3rds of the population growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

What will the BestStar Project Achieve?

BestStar and their partners will begin the installation of water and energy-saving pumping systems known as the IPE system that distributes water through an injection method. This innovation is protected with international patents and has already received several technical approvals.

With the IPE system, it is possible to control saturation levels of hydraulic points under pressure, by balancing air and water levels the regular stress from over-pressure is reduced meaning hardware can expect a longer lifespan and all areas receive even levels of both water pressure and flow. These systems can expect to see a 30-40% reduction in water usage and a huge saving of 80% energy usage by reducing pump power and with the introduction of solar panels to provide most energy requirements.

This is significant in hotels, residential and office environments for several reasons including consumer comfort,
-stabilisation of water flows and pressures on the floors of buildings
-improvement in quality of drinking water
-elimination of water storage tanks in terraces of buildings (legionellosis risks)
-precise water management
-increased environmental protection by limiting energy and water consumption.

However, Beststar is more focused on agricultural and reverse desertification projects. Irrigation systems installed in areas to combat the creeping desert are vital and form the core structure of the project. Another aspect of the BestStar approach is using Moringa trees to aid in the agricultural processes and overall plan to counter desert creep. Moringa fulfils the selection criteria mentioned above, you can read more about our Moringa initiative here.

In at least 50 countries spreading from Persia are systems of qanats in Algeria they are referred to as Foggaras, these are gravity-fed underground aqueducts sourced from a spring and provide approximately 70l/s of water, the technology is believed to be at least 1000 years old and get their water from where fluvial planes meet mountain ranges, historically the cool air from the qanat tunnels was also used to refrigerate food and ice as well as providing cooling rooms in the basements of houses for the hot summer months.

The water from the qanat is used for drinking water for the population, animals and to provide irrigation for crops. It is this water flow that now benefits from the pumping system as further areas are reached without too heavy an investment in infrastructure. The injection pumping system can irrigate a far larger landmass than previously possible without the need for towers to store water or for excessively noisy diesel pumps that cause pollution. The desert location means using solar panels to provide energy is an obvious choice.

The water from the qanat will be used to assist in the growth of Moringa Oleifera in the affected regions, which, in addition to providing shade to crops also reduces the amount of water that evaporates from the crop irrigation process, the tree referred to as the ‘tree of life’ will be able to provide extra revenue streams for the area from harvesting the leaves and seeds to create powders and oils for selling to an international market following the BestStar mandate on quality standards for food and pharmaceutical products, you can read more about Moringa here.

The intention and focus of BestStar and the involvement in this project are to add value to the lives of the population in affected areas and to help improve quality of life. BestStar has several education initiatives that will help locals to learn more about the products from how to prepare land for planting to growing and caring for the trees, then harvesting and processing the products from the trees. The aim is to help create a self-sustaining area and to assist in alleviating poverty and hunger help the landscape to become drought resistant and create jobs within the industry whilst providing education to a growing population.

BestStar is proud to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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