Eritrea - Greening Eritrea (Part 1)

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africa.reuters.com Eritrea's mangroves show way to fight hunger Wed 21 May 2008, 6:04 GMT By Andrew Cawthorne HIRGIGO, Eritrea, May 21 (Reuters) - Fisherman Ali Osman grins as he hauls a large, yellow-and-silver emperor fish out of the shallow Red Sea waters off Eritrea. A minute later, his friend pulls out a baby shark, sweating in the heat as he chucks it on the rocks. Other fish flop on the sea's flat surface as four young fishermen wade through the high tide to take back an impressive haul to their village, Hirgigo. "If it wasn't for the mangroves, there wouldn't be so many fish," Ali says, pointing at a thick tree-line marking the border of desert and sea. The forest of newly planted mangrove trees has given fish, crabs and oysters vital shelter to feed and breed in an area where there were previously only arid mud flats. Marine life, and their human hunters, are not the only beneficiaries of an eco-project in this Horn of Africa village that has won global awards as a model for reducing poverty and feeding the hungry. Led by US scientist and humanitarian Gordon Sato, the project has transformed the landscape in an area where there is not enough fresh water to support conventional agriculture. Leaves from the trees -- there are around a million mangroves in a six km (four mile) swathe from Hirgigo -- provide fodder for livestock. That means villagers no longer have to trek into distant highlands to feed their sheep and goats. In a further benefit of the decade-old ...

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