• Visiting the Tabocal community

    During her most recent trip to the Trocano Araretama REDD+ Project, CGV’s Laine Tavares travelled to many communities found within the 1.3 million ha area that the project covers. These on-the-ground visits are undertaken for monitoring purposes and allow the continuous development of the project.

    Tabocal

    Tabocal community, Borba.

    Continuing with the monitoring visit undertaken by the Trocano Araretama Conservation Project through the upper Madeira River region, today we will discuss the Tabocal community. Located in the project’s central zone, Tabocal has approximately 16 families.

    Economy

    Planting cassava for the production of handmade flour is one of the main economic activities in the Tabocal community. The cassava flour is a dehydrated powder that is rich in starch and widely used in the local diet.

    Once harvested, cassava must go through numerous stages to be converted to flour. These are:

    Cleaning: the root must be washed to remove dirt and microorganisms.

    Grating: cassava is then peeled and grated by either using a tree trunk or a metal grater.

    Crushing: the sodden mass that is formed after the grating is then crushed to remove moisture and to facilitate the drying process.

    Crumbling and sieving: After the crushing process, the cassava mass is solid and must be crumbled by hand. It is then sieved to separate small fragments from bigger ones.

    Roasting: the cassava crumbs are then placed in an oven to be completely dried out. Whilst in the oven, the crumbs are stirred constantly.

    After sieving the sodden mass produced by grating the cassava, an oven is used to roast the flour.

    In addition to cassava, residents also produce Cucumis anguria for the production and sale of a fruit popularly known as the maxixe (West Indian Gherkin). This fruit is very popular in the local cuisine and is used in dishes such as soups and stews.

    Gherkins produced in Tabocal.

    Infrastructure

    In Tabocal, residents draw water from the Retiro Lake near the community. The water is drawn for consumption and is treated with chlorine. During the Trocano Araretama’s implementation team’s visit to the village, a water quality test was conducted and it was concluded that it was fit for human consumption.

    However, during the dry season, the Retiro Lake loses its connection to a river called Miripiti due to water flow reduction. Because of this reduction, the lake water becomes stagnated and begins to smell. Nevertheless, the residents continue to use the lake as their main source of water during this period of time, which does not have the same quality found during the rainy season.

    In order to provide year-round access to clean drinking water, the Trocano Araretama Project is putting together a pilot project that will implement the use of LifeStraw Family Filters. The LifeStraws can filter up to 18,000 litres of water in its lifetime; removing bacteria, protozoa and disease-causing viruses. These will provide a more convenient and effective method of water purification, as well as improve the health of the Tabocal people as chlorine-use has long-term, negative health effects.

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    Celestial Green Ventures

    Celestial Green Ventures (CGV) develops and implements REDD+ conservation projects, which focus on protecting regions at risk of deforestation and improving the local communities, in the Brazilian Amazon region.
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