Tree planting is done for three main reasons in our program:
(1) It is part of Tanzania’s conservation policy. Deforestation is happening at an alarming rate. Many water sources used by communities are dried up as the result of deforestation. Trees provide food, energy and income, and help communities achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Trees also filter the air and help reverse the impacts of climate change.
(2) Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, parents and decision. Their understanding of the environment is vital. Deforestation, water, and climate change issues are all linked. Tree planting reinforces their learning.
(3) Tree planting is used as a passport for student field trips into the Serengeti. Students who successfully plant and care for their trees are allowed to participate in a field trip.
We have established a Tree Nursery at Ololosokwan Primary School. Students are also asked to collect seeds of trees available at their homestead and bring to school. Seedlings are tended to until they are ready for planting during the rainy season, when they have time to anchor and grow independently.
The skills learned are shared by students in their own homes, where they also plant and tend to seedlings. In this way, awareness of the importance of trees, reforestation, water source protection, and climate change adaptation are spread through the community.