Kipanga community thanks EAMCEF for biodiversity conservation

MUFINDI, IRINGA: KIPANGA Community members in Mufindi district of Iringa region have hailed the Eastern Arc Mountains Conservation Endowment Fund (EAMCEF) for a fruitful campaign in planting trees.

Speaking recently at Kipanga village, the village leaders, farmers and pupils thanked EAMCEF for empowering them in different economic activities, including planting fruit trees, trees for timber, something that has changed their health for better and emancipate them from poverty.

Kipanga Village Chairman, Mr Lawrence Magongo, expressed happiness due to great strides his villagers have recorded, having been empowered financially and in training on planting trees for timber business, avocado for consumption, selling and in bee keeping.

“We started on a low note; people used to enter Uzungwa Scarp mountain for firewood and other products to the extent of degrading it, resulting in decrease in rain as well as bringing about climate change. We are now happy that now the projects initiated by EAMCEF and villagers are paying off.

“Now villagers are harvesting avocado, for families’ diet that is important, but also for selling, especially within the village. Almost every household has avocado trees and soon we will be selling in huge loads outside the village, because a processing and packaging plant is being set within the district,” said Mr Magongo.

He talked of changed healthy condition of the villagers, especially children, for better and as a result they perform well at school.

Kipanga A Primary School Headteacher, Mr Negro Chelesi, noted that children have been enjoying avocados as favorite fruits. He noted that for business and other school use, they have been planting pine trees. Apart from selling them, hey have used the trees in course of construction of two teachers’ houses.

Pine trees are evergreen, coniferous resinous trees or rarely, shrubs, growing 3–80 metres (10–260 feet) tall, with the majority of species reaching 15–45 m (50–150 ft) tall. A pine is any conifer tree or shrub in the genus Pinus

A Standard VII student at the school, Esther Utamwa, echoed that different trees are beneficial for them, school and even their homes, as they have since cultivated a tree-planting culture.

She noted that the trees, both for timber business and fruits have been a relief to their parents because they are no longer to contribute much financially to the school, as they get money from the business for daily community use.

“We thank EAMCEF, because its experts have trained as on best means to plant and nurture trees for conserving the environment, avoid environmental degradation. We sell the pines, we eat avocado and even at our homes we have planted the trees; you can see and feel how good the environment here is,” said the pupil.

Romes Nyambo, a Standard VII pupil as well, said they enjoy a lot by getting avocado in most days. He said Uzungwa Scarp is now well protected and different crops prosper, and that he is out to be a good ambassador for EAMCEF and environmental conservation.

Mufindi District Forest Officer, Mr Nuhu Kitaluka, noted that there are many success stories in the village and surrounding ones, as villagers have responded positively to EAMCEF’s call for trees-planting. He noted that there were challenges in getting tree seeds and seedlings but the Fund has made it a past history.

EAMCEF Project Officer, Ms Rosemary Boniface said EAMCEF is a trust fund that was established and functions as a long-term and reliable funding mechanism to support community development, biodiversity conservation and applied research projects, which promote the biological diversity, ecological functions and sustainable use of natural resources in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania.

The vision is to see that, the Eastern Arc Mountains and the people who depend on them live in harmony as one sustainable ecosystem. The forests and mountains will provide goods and services – from water to electrical power, from food and cash crops to medicines- for the people of Tanzania. And the world community will benefit from a protected biodiversity hotspot and a major carbon sink reducing global warming and mitigating climate change impacts.

Related Articles

Back to top button