Community tree planting in Longoi Village, Tanzania
One day a former classmate from Tanzania asked us to join hands and help him with his endeavour to improve the drinking water availability in the village where he grew up. His project was too small to simply pass on his request of support to one of the big organisations that deal with international cooperation. Thus it left us with the challenge to get active ourselves and do things just as good or even better. It was the starting shot of this social profit organisation.
The village most pressing problem is the vanishing of its water sources, which can be traced back to a disruption of the natural water cycle due to over exploitation of the surrounding forests. In order to restore the water cycle in the long run and allow slow infiltration of rain into the groundwater trees would have to be planted. Step number one for our friend was to raise consciousness of the problem and its origin among the villagers. Step number two was to make them advocates of the solution. Step number three was to continuously plant trees with as much support as he can get. He founded a NGO that gave training on environmental conservation, taught the villagers how to establish nurseries with beneficial trees and with an initial fund planted about 3000 trees.
The 5000 Euros he received from a governmental institution was barely enough to realize this undertaking in his home village but would hardly make an impact on the water cycle restoration. With our help he wants to upscale his project. We intend to extend his program of environmental education and also bring it to the primary and secondary schools. The training of school children and adults should aim at an indefinite perpetuation of the already and newly established tree nurseries. The Environmental Conservation Committees of other villages are meant to get on board and finally many more trees are intended to be planted – continuously and by the villagers own initiative.
Weltweit – Gesellschaft zur Förderung lokaler Initiativen e.V. will support this local initiative by a) making technical support accessible, e.g. for the development of suitable teaching material b) researching for similar projects and knotting ties with other experts and organisations c) organizing additional funds.
In June 2015 Weltweit e.V. transferred several thousand Euros to the account of the Longoi Agricultural and Environmental Group in Tanzania. It was the first intallment of the 9000 Euros in total that we received from the Erbacher Foundation for this local initative.
After an initial burst of happiness and gratitude having received so much financial support from abroad the Longoi Group and the villagers began immediately to expand the existing tree nursery. Cultivation of new saplings had to commence before the short rainy season would cease somewhen in July, otherwise the people of Longoi would have had to wait until November. The villagers started clearing and leveling the ground, they filled little plastic bags with compost to be used as containers for new saplings and they discussed the sequence of the next activities. It was decided that the errection of a rain water harvest facility on the primary school’s roof should be carried out as soon as possible to provide clean drinking water at least for the school children.