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Mauritius: ‘Tap’on bamboo, a sustainable natural product

Long time back in Mauritius magnificent bamboo hedges, known as the Bambusa Multiplex, were planted to protect the mansions in the heights of the central plateau. These pruned hedges, a real treat of freshness for the eyes made the evacuation of surplus rainwater to drain out easily and in a natural way. Bamboo has now become one of the most highly recommended sustainable products.

As part of a Gramine subfamily, and comprising five hundred different species, most of them are native to Southeast Asia.

The economic use of bamboo, the variety growing near our riverbanks, known as the Bambusa vulgaris is multiple: the young rod is used in basketry, while the old harder one is better for construction. It serves as a support for arbors, to produce decorative objects, fishing rods, kitchen utensils, musical instruments, knife handles, shoe soles, rafts, and its grains are widely used in cosmetology. It seems that rice has just enough time to cook before the bamboo deteriorates under the action of the fire!

It is extremely rare to see bamboo blooming, as this happens sometimes only over several decades or even a century. When it happens, it is all over the world and it is a curious phenomenon.

To restore bamboo’s credentials, why not replant it? We will be able to ‘tap’ on it in this world of ours when we are all talking about ‘greenhushing’ …

Lza M Natur

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