Compte rendu de sortie à la réserve naturelle communautaire de la vallée du sitatunga en anglais
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On Monday December 17th 2012, we went to Zinvié for an outing with our teachers. We visited a farm called Sitatunga. Before the outing, we prepared this visit. First of all, we worked of the sustainable development in History : in the first chapter, we talked about the sustainable development and its 3 pillars : socially, ecologically and economically. In Biology, we talked about biodiversity and endangered species and we learnt how to classify species. With Miss Cossou, we examined entomophagy : it’s the way of eating insects, and we worked on the countries where people eat insects (Nigeria, Congo, Cameroon…). One week before the outing, we watched a film called “Global steak”, which talks about how to feed the whole population on earth, then we spoke about it. We also tasted insects, like crickets and termites. Our biology teacher gave us a piece of paper on which all the equipment needed for the outing was listed, like bringing a lot of water, some food, a hat, wearing sneakers and sun glasses. Our parents had to sign the authorization form to let us go to the outing. In history, we split the class in 3 groups and each group had its own role : one for the ecologic part, another one for the social part, and the last one for the economic part, and we had to ask questions about it during the outing.
We took the bus at 8 o’clock and it took an hour and a half to arrive at the farm. The bus stopped along the road ; we took out the stuff from the bus and we walked 300 meters to the farm. During that time, we walked through a little village called Kpotomey, where we saw Damien, our guide, who’s the deputy director of the N.G.O ! He talked to us about his NGO and about the farm. He said that the Sitatunga valley belonged to the community of villages which live there. When we arrived in the camp, the guide did a briefing of what we would do. After that, Miss Jan gave us a document with the information about what we would see. Then the visit began.
First, we visited the hatching room, filled with a lot of fish. Then, we went to the farm called pantodom. There were lots of ponds full of fish. They are dedicated to feed the population. Three types of fish are cultivated : catfish, tilapias and akpavi. In this fish farm, there is also an observatory where, with a lot of luck, you can see Sitatungas, but we didn’t see any. When the visit of the fish farm was over, we went to a museum. We saw different species of fish, like the electric fish other species. We also saw Zool and toads. Then we went to the vivarium. We saw snakes, alligators and a royal python. After that, we came back to the camp for lunch, around half past noon. The break finished at 2:30 pm. During the break, we had a picnic for lunch. Damien proposed us to sail a dugout canoe on the swamp (in groups of 4). The first group sailed while the others were waiting at the camp or went bug-hunting. We took the butterfly nets and caught some butterflies, dragonflies and other bugs swapped in the fish farm and near the ponds.
After a long break for lunch, we came back to the bus to leave the things we no longer needed, and to enjoy the air-conditioning. Then we had to go through the forest. It was thick, there were a lot of trees, and the path was narrow. Many pupils enjoyed the adventure, but others complained about the insects which bit them or about the branches which hit them. Twenty minutes later, we arrived where the class was to be separated into 3 groups. Each group represented a pillar of the sustainable development, and had to study an ecosystem. The first group worked on ecology and went into the forest. They took the temperature of the ground and of the air and they calculated the PH of the sand. Then they noticed that there were more insects in some parts of the forest than in others. Finally, they noticed that humans can have an impact on the forest (polluting and hunting). The second group worked on the social pillar and went to the pond. They also took measures of the environment and searched for species which lived around the pond. They found insects and plants which they brought back to school. The third group worked on the economy and went to a field. They noted the different species of fruit trees and other things which grew in the field. That served to produce juice for example. They caught butter flies with a net. At the end, we all went back to the bus. We were tired but we came back with new knowledge.
During the trip, we walked a lot and it was very hot. Therefore, when we came back, we were very tired. We learnt that there are natural reserves like Penjari Park in North of Benin, Sitatunga Reserve 30km North-West of Cotonou, and there are NGO, which protect nature and all animals, flowers and trees. We discovered different endangered species like the Sitatunga (It is an aquatic antelope) or the dwarf crocodile. We learnt that 3000 species of animals, insects, trees, flowers live in the Sitatunga reserve. We discovered how the population adapted itself to the new way of life, with ecological things. The population, with the help of credit NGO, succeeded in having a better way of life (like doing selective sorting). They have a better management of their natural stocks. For example, they use different flowers or trees to nurse themselves or to sell to the population, because in Benin, 70% of the population use flowers or trees to curse themselves, and they must learn how to use it moderately. The eleven villages and the credit-NGO do some beautiful work in Benin.
To help them, we exhort you to visit the reserve.
When we came back, we worked in groups to write a summary of that outing with our English teacher