Tree Planting Camel

Design Problem

Kenya suffers deeply from deforestation, this is extremely true in Northern Kenya. This problem has caused detrimental effects to the climate and the health of the people within this region. Deforestation in Kenya is caused by lower-income people being forced to find ways to make a living or get energy and one of the key ways they do this is by cutting down trees. This causes the whole region to become more dry causing even fewer trees to grow in the future. With even fewer trees growing those lower-income people lose a part of their income forcing them to even deeper poverty. 

So overall the problem is that trees aren’t being grown in a quick enough or sustainable fashion to meet the constant demand for trees in the region. This has to lead to all the negative effects as stated above. 

Deforestation is not only a problem inside Kenya it affects people and wildlife across the whole planet. These places include Honduras who has lost 37% of its previous trees in less than 15 years. Then there is Nigeria which only has 10% of its original forest still remaining. Also, there is Brazil and the Amazon which is losing 20,000 square miles a year. All of these places suffer from deforestation and the reasons behind it are all similar such as harvesting lumber, making room for urbanization, making farmland, or trying to make a living in poverty. 

If we can solve some of the deforestations in Kenya we can use the lessons we learn here to try to solve the same problems across the world. 

Design Process

In my research of trying to find ways to solve this problem, I came across a product that has been designed and created within Kenya called the Seedball. Which is a seed native to Northern Kenya that has been coated in a shell of charcoal that protects from predators and helps it stay fertile during the dry season. When the rains come they wash off the charcoal shell and fertilizes the seed so it can grow when it rains.

Then the question came along how would these seeds be distributed across that region easily? The answer was camels. The reason behind this is that for many people across Northern Kenya a way in which they make their living is by herding camels across the area. In addition, these people are normally nomads so if they could disperse Seedballs they would reach a very large area.

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Camels near Wajir, Northern Kenya.

My project is therefore to create a design that can be placed on camels while they walk throughout Kenya and disperses seeds. With this goal, the process has been to create criteria and constraints and do research into what type of designs work up in that region.

Short Video made about the project
Red Bull showcasing the Project

Link to Process Journal & Final Reflection Video

Tree Planting Camel Project

Link to Design Journal