Erosion control, reconstruction of farmland and preservation of montane rainforest through afforestation and beekeeping in the Usambara Mountains, Lushoto District, Tanzania
Completed in 2020
Stiftung Ursula Merz
Planting 60,000 trees near water sources, along roads and between farmland.
Increasing awareness of the ecological problem and participation in conservation measures among the population.
The construction of at least 100 hives and the training of at least 60 smallholders in beekeeping.
The forested area in the West Usambara has decreased by over 70% in the last 50 years. In addition to the loss of habitat for the unique fauna and flora, the decline in forest cover is increasingly causing soil erosion on the slopes. As a result, the few roads regularly become impassable and valuable farmland is lost. This in turn necessitates the development of new farmland by clearing the forests: A vicious circle. In addition, the locals observe a disruption of the natural water cycles, which can quickly lead to the complete drying up of water sources in the next few years.
The planning of the project was done by members of the Kizanda Environmental Group and the Pentecostal Church Conservation Group together with Ibrahim Hussein Mkwiru. The aim is to conserve the forest and its functions by (1) establishing forest plantations that will meet future timber needs, prevent erosion and help stabilise water cycles, and (2) empowering the population to practice apiculture thereby building a source of income that provides an alternative to the sale of timber.
The project is located in Shembekezo/Kizanda and Yoghoi villages in Lushoto district. The project commenced in spring 2018 and the tree species planted are Albhizia, Grevilea, Cyprus, and Pinus.