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CFCA stories

Filipino project cleans river with bokashi balls

August 22, 2009

Members of CFCA’s project in Antipolo, Philippines, are trying to clean the environment with a technology utilizing bokashi balls.

bokashi balls
Sponsored member Rizza Mae of the Antipolo,
Philippines, project, makes bokashi balls from
a mixture of organic material and beneficial
micro-organisms.

“Bokashi” is a Japanese term that means “fermented organic matter” and refers to a system developed in Japan that uses beneficial micro-organisms to break down toxins and food waste. Last summer, several professors connected with the Asian Social Institute of Manila taught community leaders from the Antipolo project how to use bokashi balls to clean water.

“The lessons were passed among CFCA families since August,” Antipolo Project Coordinator Malou Navio said. “One of our communities resolved to revive their river, the Angono River, by regular clean-up and using bokashi balls.”

All families in the Antipolo community worked at home or in the community hall to complete 14,000 balls in early April 2009.

To make the bokashi balls, the group combined a mixture of clay, ceramic powder, brown sugar or molasses and rock salt and then infused the mixture with micro-organisms. The mixture was formed into large balls and left to ferment for several weeks until coated with a fuzzy white fungus. The balls were dropped into the river, one ball per square meter of river water, and will dissolve in six months.

“The micro-organisms eat the harmful bacteria and will become food for the fishes and shells,” Navio said.

Caring for creation is a value emphasized by CFCA projects around the world.

This article was originally published on April 22, 2009.

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