Yesterday we the Climate Challenger crew, attended a dry stone walling workshop with the international non-government organisation ‘Wildlife Conservation Society’ (WCS) at Loniu Passage between Los Negros Island, home of the Momote airport and mainland Manus Island. Building a dry stone wall is a possible adaptation to sea level rise and beach erosion, and it is hoped that we can share this knowledge with other low-lying Pacific island communities who are also affected by climate change. It is a low cost method that only requires the stone that is usually readily accessible and labour.
Charles Daniel and Ben Lian, from WCS took us through the process of building a dry stone wall which must first take into account choosing the site. For example it cannot be constructed where there are strong currents and waves, and it must be in shallow water where there is no underwater shelf which may cause the wall to collapse in the future.
The wall must be built upon a solid foundation, and using heavy stones that will not collapse. Placing the stones by fitting them together tightly like a jigsaw and on a wider base ensures stability.
There are many coastal communities in Manus that are now using dry stone wall techniques to try and stop or at least slow down the encroaching sea from washing away their land.
The following video shows how to build a dry stone wall as explained by Charles Daniel from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Manus. Enjoy!