Volcanic ash can be used as an ingredient in cement that can be made waterproof. In ancient times, it was used in pavement and concrete. It is used for building stone in Kenya.
Volcanic ash can be easily excavated to produce caverns for anything from human shelter to water storage.
The short-term effects of volcanic ash on agriculture are negative, but the long-term effects are positive. Volcanic soil is among of the richest types of soil on earth. One of the reasons people take the risk of living near active volcanoes is because crops grow so well on volcanic soil. For example, the soil in southern Italiy is very poor except for the area surrounding Mount Vesuvius.
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