Restoring the water cycle: Justdiggit!

If you are active in rural area’s with community based land restoration , please reach out.
We would be interested to co-develop a large program based on rainwater infiltration, agroforestry and soil improvement combined with an inspirational movement to target the youth and millenials through music, gamification and inpsiirational ambassadors.

Have a look at our work elsewhere in Africa. Looking forward to meet some potential local partners to pull this off !

Olivier Maes


The Ecosystem Restoration Camps has begun to create a camp in Spain and has found that there are large numbers of volunteers, too many who would like to go to Spain at the moment. Some of these volunteers are very skilled in Water Harvesting and in Revegetation. I’m wondering if some of these could be directed to join a collaborative effort to address the crisis in Cape Town.

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Hi, I’m Cindy Eiritz from Healthy Soils Australia. We’re worried about you all in West Cape and would like to try to help you in every way we can. Our hydro-biogeochemist, Walter Jehne, is able to provide advice, guidance and support for you to undertake a land rehydration and rainfall restoration proof of process. He explains these processes in a recent webinar -


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The Ecosystem Restoration Camps strength is in self directed action. The key is consciousness. Everyone should know what is the objective and all should know what they are doing. In this way they are self-directed, self-organized and self-governed. This way it is the center can act as a network sharing knowledge and supporting when possible but the lead organization is always local.


Thanks John. Absolutely, that is how we work too. We can provide advice and support which can be used in part, in full or not at all, however is desired and deemed useful by local experts and leaders.

We’re particularly interested in contributing to the knowledge sharing and supporting you mention John. Do you know, does any curated crowd sourced repository already exist?

For people new to this field of landscape rehydration and landscape restoration, these articles provide a good introduction -

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Wonder source of information, thank you Cindy.

Hey thanks Markus. I originally collected those articles over time into a facebook group. I’m really passionate about knowledge management.

Particularly I’m very interested in how we might best all support each other by sharing wisdom into a really well organised repository we can all access. Does anything like this exist anywhere anyone here knows of?

Hey thanks for the inspiration Markus, I’ve started a new project about knowledge management

@Gien - Are you or any people you know keen to build a very large scale community based land and water restoration project in West Cape? @omaes72, @Johndliu and ourselves would love to e-meet people this weekend and explore how we might be able to support and assist

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Yes we need to do this Cindy ASAP. Land restoration is surely the most important focus and long-term viable solution? Is anyone familair wirth their work as well?

Yes please John, a millennial here with a large network, let me know what I can help with to get this initiative going here in Cape Town? A big fan of your work, thank you. - Kiera

Hi Kieara, I’ve just sent Michal Kravcik an email and a messenger message inviting him to join us here

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Hello colleagues. I believe that the best way to move forward is to survey who in Cape Town is currently working on building and delivering simple composting toilets and whether a handbook for using dry composting toilets exists in all languages used in Cape Town.

Once it is known if there are any groups actually making, distributed and preparing for to process the compost it would be good to contact them all and find out if they are willing to collaborate.

Ideally many organizations and individuals join together in this. The Government may need to be involved because of the volume of feces … a large place where the composting can be done and the equipment to do it. There are some mechanized ways to handle waste with large temperature control, moisture control, air intake, slow aeration (turning), which allows the composting to be in a controlled space and without too much physical handling for the poo. It is however more expensive.

I know of a few and will research who else is doing it. I will generate a list. Can we set up a restoration camp in the Western Cape?

Excellent. The thing is that it will require land or technology to do large-scale composting. The technology is expensive, the land if it is now degraded would be perfect because it will build organic soils that infiltrate and retain much more moisture. Ideally the large-scale composting is located quite close to a large and growing nursery system raising large numbers of indigenous and endemic trees. Get a Species Distribution map and eliminate the exotics and especially the invasive ones, then grow ideally millions of trees to be transplanted all around Cape Town.

@Cindy I have been working on a data structure for knowledge gathering. Maybe we could have a chat sometime?
My model starts from the information gathering in communities in local meetings, where all are welcome but maybe not all can attend. The premise goes like this:
Topic: e.g Cape Town Water Crisis
Issues: What are the Issues you see regarding the Topic?
Ratings: How good/bad are these Issues?
Causes: What do you think the causes of the Issues are?
Effects: What do you think the Effects of the Issue are?
The idea is that we think deeply about Why? before we start making Proposals. That way the Proposals can be more targeted at either the Issues, the Causes or the Effects.
Proposals: Make one or more Proposals to deal with one or more of the Issues.
Pros and Cons and Ratings: What are the pros and cons and how do others rate the Proposals.
Collecting supporting data and links along the way.
Then sharing the outcomes with other communities in an open format. A test file is on
The basic meeting structure is described in

It doesn’t seem to work too well online - not sure why - maybe it needs time.
I ran it on Facebook last week and had pretty minimal input - though I did begin to compile a Google doc on
It’s a bit unwieldy trying to replicate a 3D data structure in a flat doc.
Re data - I have heaps but not so well collated because I came to realised that these are my take on what is needed, when really it would be more respectful to ask others and then add my thoughts.

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What happened to Bill Gates’ toilet challenge?

Thank you John. I am sure there is enough interest and funding within Cape Town to make this happen. I am meeting with Gunter Pauli (ZERI and The Blue Economy) on Thursday as he is also a Cape Town resident and will get back to you on how we see this operation proceeding.