The communities that we work with in Tanzania, rely on the land for their food and income. The majority of them live below the poverty life of $1.50 per person per day. They are subsistence agriculturalists. There are rarely any spare crops to sell.
If the rains fail, the harvest also fails, sometimes completely and as one of the farmers Jehosaphat said to me once, after a poor harvest, "what else can I do to feed my family except cut down a tree"
When they have a sick child, they cut down a tree to sell as firewood. When they need to pay school fees, they cut down a tree. As a result there are hardly any trees left on the hills.
Trees enable people to grow their way out of poverty and this scheme aims to transform the economy of the area where 25,000 people live. The trees grow quickly and will eventually be worth £40 each. Our aim is for each farmer to have 200 trees each. The farmer can use this money for his/her children’s education and healthcare. We hope to set up a sawmill to add value to the trees and provide employment for local people.
We are promoting a move away from the unsustainable practices of cutting down trees for charcoal and firewood towards conservation of the remaining trees and bushes , landscape renovation including planting trees on the hills which will provide food and an income as well as encouraging wildlife back into the area.
Over the last 12 months, we have planted 14,000 trees in partnership with 30 local farmers and the Anglican Church. Some of the trees are now over 3 metres tall!
Three of the farmers are called Mama Enoch, Pastor Nahum and Prisca. They are all very poor but like all the farmers they have embraced this scheme with enthusiasm as they know it will help their families in 10-15 years’ time. We first met Mama Enoch when her son fell into an open fire and was badly burnt. Our quick action and assistance with the medical bills saved his life.
She has planted 100 trees on the perimeter of her small farm and you can
see a picture of her on the left with one of her Grevillea Robusta trees which has grown from 6 inches to 9 feet tall.
Our aim is to plant a further 25,000 trees over the next 12 months. We are also putting together a continuous planting programme to replace any trees that are felled for lumber in 15 years’ time.
If you are stuck for a Christmas gift, then you could gift someone a tree in Tanzania.
For more details, please visit our gift shop.