An Amazing Year Gone By - 2013
Another Year Gone By
And so much has been accomplished!
From March of 2013-March of 2014, GWC helped plant more than 170,000 trees! With a survival rate of 72%. This means we planted 4 times more trees this year than last year, and 14 times more than the year before that! So, since GWC came to Kenya in 2011, we have directly contributed to the planting of more than 225,000 trees.
These trees were planted by:
- Children in 62 schools
-Farmers from 12 cooperatives,
-Youth from 12 community groups, and
-Members from 10 faith-based organizations
Through our core activities, education and practical sessions on the importance of trees, nursery construction and management, and tree planting and maintenance, GWC reached more than 4,400 children, famers, youth, and church or mosque members .
Just as exciting as our tree planting numbers has been our growth in reach and scope. We have taken on projects in more diverse areas of landscape and livelihood restoration than ever before.
We began our largest program yet in the Pungu Watershed area! This initiative, which aims to restore deforested wetlands by planting 200,000 trees, has brought GWC into close collaboration with the Kenyan government and several other partners. For the 10 schools, 6 youth groups, and 1 elders group which will produce the seedlings to reforest the watershed, GWC developed advanced tree nurseries with water tanks and shade netting. Planting has already begun, with a huge community planting event planned for next month.
In an extremely arid part of Kenya, Bahakwenu, GWC constructed 6 water catchment systems (water tanks and gutters) for schools and community groups. These systems provide water for the nurseries and trees planted to keep both seedlings and trees alive more effectively. In this same area, we provided an oil press to generate oil form Moringa Oliefera tree seeds. We planted roughly 20,000 moringa trees this year in all our sites, and communities are planting more and more. Farmers in the area use the press several times a month, distributing the nutrient-rich oil to female members who use it to protect their (and their infants’) skin from the hot, dry climate. They are also eating the leaves for their amazing nutritional properties. In Miyani, we provided the same press to a farmers’ cooperative, as well as helping them construct a storage facility for their produce and their moringa seeds.
Early in 2013, before the presidential elections, we held a Trees for Peace rally, planting hundreds for trees with several schools around the Pungu Watershed and raising awareness about how effective resource management can promote and preserve peace in Kenya.
The Aga Khan Mombasa Academy partnered with GWC to promote landscape restoration through song and performance arts in the annual Mad Night talent show, where 10 schools came together to sing about tree planting and healing our planet.
To improve our methodologies and promote best practices, GWC had a week-long training for our field officers and staff, improving their knowledge of agroforestry and grafting, especially, in the hopes that tree planting might be more fully integrated with strategies to improve rural livelihoods through better crop yields and the planting of fruit and food trees. Our field officers, all of whom live in the communities in which they work, also visited each other’s sites during exchange visits. These visits allowed field officers to share ideas and successes in more hands-on ways. We could see the change in their work immediately, as many began experimenting based on the innovations of the others.
We literally cannot wait to see what the coming year will hold as these partnerships and programs continue to grow and improve!