There are many good ways to more trees in the ground. In the Rorya District of Tanzania, near the village of Kinesi, seedlings are grown in a nursery and distributed to whom needs it most: women-lead households or families hosting orphans get priority. Local schools also get trees (often fruit trees) to plant on their premises. The project furthermore provides training in sustainable agricultural practices including permaculture so that the trees boost agriculture yield and food production. Families with larger and diversified incomes now enjoy better food and can pay for medicine. WeForest has worked in Tanzania for many years with Global Resource Alliance.
Global Resource Alliance
Restore native forest
Increase food security
Create access to clean water
Promote access to medicinal and other forest products
Why is intervention needed?
In the last one hundred years roughly half of the world’s forests have been cut down. The most extreme levels of deforestation have occurred within the boundaries of the poorest nations on earth. This destruction is having devastating consequences, and it is widely recognized that it is the poorest of the poor who will suffer the greatest impact. With this in mind, we seek to address two of the most significant problems on the planet by specifically targeting two interrelated issues, extreme poverty and deforestation. People in the area have been cutting trees at a rapid rate to satisfy their need for charcoal, wood for cooking, for timber and burned bricks for housing. Even though burning trees for charcoal is illegal without a permit, the practice is widespread. The tree cutting and the destruction of natural forest is reaching a point where the survival of rural communities and native wildlife is threatened.
Experienced agroforestry trainers and trained workers are hired to grow thousands of tree seedlings in the nursery. These employees develop the nursery, train other families in the program, as well as the community at large, on how to plant and take care for the trees. They distribute seedlings once the holes have been prepared for planting and oversee the maintenance and care of the trees. Trees are distributed to individuals, families and groups, like churches, schools and clinic. A variety of species are distributed to provide fruit, fencing, nitrogen fixing, firewood and animal feed and medicine.
The Kinesi tree project goes far beyond just planting trees; it has many positive imapcts for the villagers of Kinesi. There are first of all, over 2,500 individuals and about 130 schools that have received training and support to plant trees on homesteads, farms and school grounds. The project provides one tree per child for three schools in the village. Those that successfully complete the training will qualify to receive up trees that serve as living fences trees as well as fruit, medicinal, nitrogen fixing and/or timber trees. Churches and the village health clinic are also invited to participate. The remaining trees are planted at the permaculture plot in Kinesi for fencing and to fix nitrogen to enrich the soil. There are also 6 full time employees who make a living in the project and about 15 "guardians" (orphan caretakers) who get a free lunch, a daily stipend and a portion of the produce and grains raised in our permaculture gardens. The ophans, about 90 of them, receive fresh produce and maize form the gardens, soap and school supplies weekly, regular tutoring, school uniforms once a year and healthcare as needed. Finally, there are many thousands of local residents in Rorya and Tarime districts that benefit from the environmental enrichment that these trees provide. Participants in the project are monitored by the trainers in site preparation, tree planting, protection of the seedlings and subsequent care. Kinesi is a very poor village, but if trees are properly cared for, they can improve their socio-economic conditions and those of future generations.