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Fruits, skills and income – Trees are changing lives in Kishapu, Tanzania

Children stand next to tree seedlings.
Kulwa´s whole family participates in tree planting and management. Photo: Virve Rissanen.

There are many people who benefit from Felm’s environmental work in Kishapu, Tanzania. Let us introduce you three of them.

Mr. Kulwa Ngusa Mtomogoro, 44, is a married man with 9 children. Kulwa is a peasant practicing subsistence agriculture and livestock keeping. Before the project implemented by Tanganyika Christian Refugee Service (TCRS), his family was not aware of tree management as during crop field preparations was cutting all trees leaving bare land for crop cultivation.

Kulwa Ngusa Mtomogoro. Photo: Virve Rissanen.

During the project, Kulwa participated in sensitization meetings and trainings about environment management practices particularly tree planting and management. After he was sensitized, he was motivated to establish a woodlot at his homestead. In the 2018/2019 season, Kulwa was able to plant 1,500 trees around his home and field plots where he practiced agroforestry. Kulwa managed to plant and manage so many trees by involving his wife and children. During the season of 2019/2020, his family and friends were able to manage a tree nursery having 20 000 seedlings that were supplied to other families and institutions for planting. His family was happy as gained knowledge on how to manage trees and earned money as seedlings were purchased by the project to support families and institutions.

Therefore, Kulwa’s family benefitted a lot from the project. Kulwa testified: “I am happy that my homestead is now covered with many trees, I know to raise tree seedlings myself. Moreover, I gained income from selling the seedlings where the money I got was used to purchase 2 oxen cows for agriculture and able to purchase iron sheets for roofing my new house.”

Mr. and Mrs. Jizinza are living in Nyasamba village which is one of the villages in Kishapu district. That district experience the impact of climate change which lacks rainfall and has long long-term dry season. The community members were used to cutting down trees for several purposes including firewood, so for several years due to human activity the situation become bad and the community was not involved in any initiative to recover the situation.

Mrs. and Mr. Jizinza in front of a guava tree.

Mr. Dona Jizinza and his family started to be involved in environmental issues by mobilizing their fellows to form an environmental group. The main purpose of the group was environmental management including tree planting and management. Mr. Jizinza says:

“Before the project I was not aware of how to recover the situation and where to get tree seedling for planting, but due to knowledge gained from TCRS on environment issues I  now have my own fruit plot in my home and other trees in farm plot.”

“My family is expecting to get guava and pawpaw fruits to improve the nutrition standard, and to get surplus fruits to sell to increase income.” Now their neighbor families are coping from Dona’s family to plant and manage trees and practice agro-forestry.

On Friday 5th of June we celebrate World Environment Day.

Text: Mwanamina Jumanne and Albert Ngailo