Posted by Monica Marshall over 10 years ago
Swiss NGO WeForest and business partner Deloitte Belgium awarded Global Resource Alliance with a grant to plant 130,000 trees in Sub-Saharan Africa where forests provide a fragile lifeline to the people there.
The two year permaculture tree planting campaign is located in Kinesi Village, Tanzania. Kinesi is a poor rural community on the shore of Lake Victoria that has been heavily deforested. The primary method of cooking in Tanzania is over wood and charcoal fires, resulting in near barren terrain.
The goal of GRA's tree project is to strengthen the area's forest eco-system while sustainably providing food, medicine, fuel and timber for the local population.
Living tree fences are planted around each "food forest" to deter livestock, block wind, and provide timber and cooking oil. Within the "food forest" are trees for fruit, animal fodder, medicines and more. Vegetables and herbs are inter-cropped with the trees to benefit from their shade, mulch and moisture. Other trees are planted for their abilities to capture water, desalinate the soil and prevent erosion.
Young seedlings are raised in GRA's tree nursery and given free of charge to schools, health clinics, government offices and individuals trained to plant and care for the baby trees.
GRA staff and families enrolled in the Kinesi Village Orphans Support Program offer a variety of complimentary classes in tree-planting, permaculture gardening, solar cooking and herbal medicine.
To prevent continued deforestation of the area, solar cooking is promoted as a low-cost alternative to wood and charcoal fires for most months of the year. Fireless cooking methods are also important because smoke inhalation from indoor fires is one of the main causes of death and illness in developing countries.
Participants that attend herbal classes learn how to use medicinal plants like Neem and Artemisia to prevent and treat malaria, the leading cause of death in children under five in the region.
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