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close this bookAquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)
close this folderChapter fourteen: Program design - week five
View the documentSession V-1: Guest lecturer - site selection, pond design and pond construction
View the documentSession V-2: Quiz - week five
View the documentSession V-3: Site development/pond design
View the documentSession V-4: Processing of masonry project
View the documentSession V-5: Issues in peace corps aquaculture programming
View the documentSession V-6: Introduction of seminars and seminar topics
View the documentSession V-7: Fish fry
View the documentSession V-8: Personal interview - week five

Session V-3: Site development/pond design

Total thee: 17 hours (assuming 4 groups)


· Give trainees experience in site analysis and pond design;

· Reinforce and apply [earnings from guest lecturer;

· Practice extension techniques;

· Use peer critique as a learning tool.

Overview: At this point, trainees are comfortable with the surveying equipment and techniques necessary to evaluate a site and design and stake out a fish pond. The guest lecturer on Site Selection and Pond Construction has provided other important information in these areas. In this exercise, trainees will have their first opportunity to put together all of these skills and concepts and apply them in a realistic situation. The reality of this type of work cannot be expressed in a classroom setting, so trainees find this field project very challenging and educational. Since this is one of the most intimidating aspects of the work they will do as volunteers, practicing during training is as critical to building confidence as it is to reinforcing the technical knowledge.

5 minutes

1. In the classroom, trainees are divided into small groups. They are told that they will be shown a water source and an area that is a potential site. They are to examine the site, then design and lay out an appropriate pond or pond system for that site. They might consider themselves as consultants, hired by a farmer to look at his land and design a pond, making the best use of the land. Professional quality is expected both in the technical aspects of the project and in the manner in which the information is presented. They should assume that there will not be access to pumps for moving water. They should design ponds to be 150 - 300 square meters in surface area. Although they will be working in groups, each person is to keep his/her own set of notes and diagrams, and should be able to present the site.

10 minutes

2. Trainees brainstorm a list of things they will have to measure or calculate at the site, while a trainer records their list on the board. The list should include:

Initial survey of area

Layout of ponds

Stake out center line

Stake out core trench

Stake dike toes

Height of dike at each station

Top width of dike

Slope of site and pond bottom

Water levels at source


Placement of drain

Type of inlet, drain, overflow

Critical elevations

Stake canals, dimensions, slopes

Cut and fill

Volume of dikes

Hours of labor.

5 minutes

3. The trainer demonstrates an extension technique used for defining dike shape and size to a farmer using bamboo and string. This technique is to be used by the trainees when they lay out their ponds. They are not limited to this method and are encouraged to devise their own extension tools. The technique referred to here is a simple one that works as follows: two pieces of bamboo (or some other straight poles or sticks) are placed in the ground at a distance apart from one another that equals the top width of the dike. The poles are sticking straight up such that the tops of them actually mark the top width of the dike. A piece of twine is tied to the point where the back toe will meet the ground at that point in the dike. That same piece of twine is then tied to each of the poles, and then to the point where the front toe will meet the ground so that the twine forms an outline of a cross section of the dike at that point).

5 minutes

4. Trainees are informed of the time frames in which they will be working, and that they will be presenting their sites to the rest of the group. The presentation is considered an extension exercise, and should include appropriate visual aids and demonstrations. Each presentation will be critiqued by the group for both its technical and extension aspects. Remind trainees that they will be working in field conditions (i.e., sun, heat, insects, snakes, etc.) and should take proper precautions and dress appropriately.

35 minutes

5. Trainees are then taken to the field and shown the sites that the staff has already chosen. They are shown the water source and the general area in which they can "build" their ponds.

12 hours

6. Trainees carry out this exercise in their groups at their sites. Trainers should circulate among the groups to observe and provide any necessary logistical support, but should not participate at all in the exercise or provide any input into the trainees' work.

4 hours

7. Each group presents its site to the other groups. Everyone in the group should have a part to play in the presentation. The presentation takes place at the site, not in the classroom. Presentations should take approximately 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers, then 5-10 minutes for the critique.

Resources and Materials:

· Blackboard and chalk;
· Bamboo stakes or similar material;
· String;
· Tripod, dumpy level, stadia rod or hand levels and stadia rod for each group;
· Surveying flags or tape;
· Soil auger or shovels;
· Newsprint, markers, rulers, graph paper and/or other materials requested for preparing presentations.

Trainer Notes:

· It is important that trainers choose sites with care prior to this exercise. They should be sure the sites are feasible and be familiar with the areas used. Be clear about boundaries or other site specific instructions when showing the sites to the trainees. Also warn them of any special dangers (snakes, alligators, private property nearby, etc.);

· Since sites are in undeveloped areas and sometimes remote, a trainer should be with or near the groups as much of the time as possible. If it is necessary to leave trainees alone for short periods of time, be sure they know where to go for help if an emergency should arise in the absence of a trainer;

· Groups should be as small as possible depending upon the size of the group and staff, the number of available sites, amount of equipment, and logistical considerations. Four is a good size, six should be considered the maximum. The larger the group, the less opportunity there is for everyone to be involved in the decision making;

· If possible, groups should be divided for the presentations so that everyone sees several sites, but the number of people at a site at any time is small enough to allow everyone to see and to be involved in the discussions and critiques. This can be done in a few different ways. If there are several groups, then some can see some sites, the others can see the other sites. If there are less than six groups, it will be better to divide each group into two. Two large groups are then comprised of a few people from each of the small groups. In this case, all of the sites are seen by everyone, and there is more responsibility on each member of the small groups for the presentation of the site. Caution: The division of groups, order of presentations and logistics for getting around to each site in an efficient manner can be very complicated, especially if a site is to be seen twice by different groups. A trainer should have responsibility for working this out well in advance, and all staff members should be clear on the arrangement that has been determined;

· Before beginning the presentations, it is helpful to hold a short meeting in the classroom to discuss the format for the critiques. Allow the trainees to decide what they should be looking for during the presentations and commenting upon during the critiques. Suggestions for points to be covered and commented upon include:

· General approach to examining the site, and the order and completeness of the general survey (i.e., soils, elevation of water source relative to drainage area, baseline or general topography, accessibility, proximity to road, etc.;

· How well was the site utilized? (orientation of pond, consideration of equalizing cut and fill, shape of pond, size of pond, potential for expansion, consideration of trees or other obstacles, etc.);

· General understanding of principles of fish ponds and how they function (i.e., relationships between critical elevation points;

· Use of surveying skills (completeness, accuracy, apparent confidence in knowledge of concepts;

· Completeness and correctness of pond design and layout (i.e., have all important components such as core, top width, dike toes, inlet, drain, water surface, freeboard, overflow, volume of dirt needed, cut and fill, etc, been marked, calculated, determined and included?);

· Soundness of decisions made by the group (chosen top width, dike slopes, core depth, etc.) and accuracy of calculations;

· Presenters' familiarity with important information and numbers (depth, surface area, cut and fill, estimated labor, etc.);

· Is the pond staked out and presented in such a way that the finished pond can easily be visualized?;

· Presentation style, use and quality of visual aids, apparent familiarity and comprehension of the presenters regarding their data and design, ability to field questions.