Apples to Congo

Congo PermitI received an import permit this week from the Congo.  They want to plant apple trees not only for the fruit, but to also help with re-forestation of the land that has been stripped for firewood.  Wood is the main cooking fuel both for Congo and Rwanda, as they have no oil or gas and any imports of these have to be trucked in all the way from Mombassa, Kenya.

There is a joint project between Congo and Rwanda on Lake Kivu to tap the large methane deposits trapped deep in the lake.  This would allow industry to the area such as cement plants and icemaking plants.  Lake Kivu is one of the notorious “exploding lakes” of central Africa, where a disruption to the lake such as an earthquake or volcanic eruption can cause the lake to “turn over”, releasing trapped methane and carbon dioxide and at best suffocating thousands of people and cattle, and at worst detonating and flattening entire regions.  The little things we take for granted here- some of our lakes may be dirty, but at least they don’t explode.

I’ll be starting research for Congo to see the best time of year to ship, and how to propagate the apple trees to achieve this timeframe.  I think Kenya is in the works also, and Sharon is traveling to Rwanda again the end of July.  You can follow her travels at her blog http://www.applesforafrica.net

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