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Diagram of compost
Building compost guide. There are many ways to build a good compost. This page shows a method that comes from a rural, developing world perspective, although it could easily be used or adapted elsewhere. The aim is to build a quick decomposing hot compost that is made from locally available materials, which can easily be gathered and built in a rural setting. The work in building a large compost is often shared amongst a number of people, with the final compost being used by each one when appropriate.

The method of building compost can be different depending on the amount of compost required, materials available, type of compost and particularly the climate of the region.
Pit compost: Pit compost is ideal for areas with medium to low rainfall. The depth of the pit will depend upon the amount of rainfall. The less the rainfall the deeper the pit should be to prevent the rapid loss of water, which is essential in the natural production of compost. In some dry regions it has been known for pits to be dug as deep as 3ft. For example, this type of compost is used in the dryer and warmer parts of central and northern Uganda.
Heap compost: Probably the best way of making vegetation compost in areas of heavy and frequent rainfall. A farmer does not need to build a deep pit to build this type of compost. In regions of heavy rainfall, water would remain standing in a pit resulting in an inadequate flow of nutrients and the production of peat rather than compost. For example, this type is used in the temperate mountainous regions of eastern Uganda and western Kenya.
Trench compost: This involves the building of the compost for convenience close to where it is needed or the source raw material.