How Gerumeti Fund spearheads  restoration of River Rubana

How Gerumeti Fund spearheads restoration of River Rubana

SERIOUS considerations against unfriendly use of resources in environmental conservation in many parts in Africa must be taken urgently.

If not, it will affect biodiversity which provides the ecosystem with habitat and pastures for wildlife. Where fauna and flora provide human beings with food, medicines and other essential elements which stimulate mind and body, man has no other option but to conserve them.

It is also clear that rivers help the community in many ways, including controlling floods, source of safe water, water purification, and even storage of carbon dioxide. The function of biodiversity in the host community is obvious because the two are mutually dependent.

Take for instance the Serengeti ecosystem, which is the source of River Rubana that in turn pours into Lake Victoria. The river’s environs have maintained their lush vegetation for wild animals for many years. Misuse of natural resources by farmers and livestock keepers, however, has resulted in serious environmental degradation, including soil erosion.

Social and economic activities, including agriculture, livestock keeping, large scale use of non-renewable energy ( charcoal and firewood) and building materials have led to massive tree felling. Restoration of River Rubana Project sensitizes the host community to care for their environment and educates them on environmental conservation. Everyone has a chance to do something useful.

So we engaged various stakeholders in this process, notably the host community, government leaders and environmental personnel from Serengeti District to join us in the planting of thousands of tree seedlings in the River Rubana environs so as to rescue it. Everyone wants to hear the birds singing, water flowing, and the green forest cover one more time.

Through this process, we are restoring the attractive scenery of River Rubana. May 18 was a very important day for this process. Hundreds of villagers were led by Dr Vincent Mashinji the District Commissioner for Serengeti to plant more than 8,000 at a time.

What’s more 20,000 tree seedlings were distributed to Makundusi villagers and the expectation is that every homestead will plant 10 trees. When officially inaugurating the historical tree planting exercise, Dr Mashinji thanked Grumeti Fund for donating 28,000 tree seedlings and spearheading the event.

The DC also lauded the villagers for turning up in numbers. “It’s exciting to see all of us participating in this exercise of refurbishing the environment of Rubana River.

It is very beautiful, ’’ said the DC, giving them the environmental, ecological, social and economic advantages of protecting the River Rubana sources, adding; ‘’ When the trees mature, we shall have enough rains, we’ll be sure of crop harvests, healthy livestock, controlled soil erosion and no floods.’’

Representing Grumeti Fund Relationships Manager Mr David Mwakipesile, thanked the government, especially the Serengeti DC Mashinji for dedicating his time since the beginning of the programme which started with awareness education up to the climax of the event.

Earlier, the Grumeti Fund Relationships Department team led by Mr Mwakipesile conducted an education programme for villagers on the significance of conserving Rubana River sources, to the surrounding communities.

"We had established, in our preliminary survey, there were environmental hazards facing Rubana River, we were forced to team up with the government, especially Serengeti District to urgently solve the challenges. We then looked for 28,000 tree seedlings and preserved them , ready for planting any time,’’ said Mr Mwakipesile.

‘’Our vision is to contribute to the conservation of Serengeti ecology and help improve the welfare of the villagers. Today, we join forces to tackle the effects of climate change, through this river restoration process.

At Grumeti Fund we believe there can be no success story in conservation without joint efforts among stakeholders, namely, communities, the government and conservation institutions,’’ he added.

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