In May, 2,500 native tree seedlings were distributed during the rains to kanyakla groups across the island, in efforts to reforest Mfangano. Every tree was followed up during group kanyakla sessions, after 2 weeks and 4 months. Our philosophy doesn’t stop just at planting. Community members are educated on planting and care instructions as well as the social, environmental and financial value of trees, specifically those native, on the Mfangano community health ecosystem. Plant now – harvest in the future! Community members learn about different types of trees and ways to financial invest now to pay for school fees and health care costs in the future.
During the distribution of seedlings in May, EK Reforestation Officer, Nicholas Olambo, pointed to the hillsides of Mfangano. “They are now green. It is difficult to find someone clear cutting up on those steep slopes. Our message is getting out and people keep coming back for more trees. As soon as it rains, you hear, Olambo where can I get more tree seedlings!?. Those who are planting up high are now examples of what not to do. They are being reported and we are working with the government to ensure consequences are given. At the same time we must find other activities for them to do. It is difficult. But we are going somewhere.”
Nicholas Olambo along with EK Nutritionist Niva Ligawa will follow-up with each tree. Together they are also identifying talented farmers in the area to serve as peer mentors to other farmers in their region. Their goal is to create a network of peers on Mfangano, create awareness around the importance of re-foresting our hillsides while creating sustainable farming practices around the lake. Together, we are making Mfangano green again!