Plant a Tree in Africa projects
Tree planting projects have been supported by the Charity in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Eastern Seedlings and Environmental Association is a voluntary charitable non profit making and duty registered non-governmental organization Reg; No. S. 5914/3437 to operate in Mbale District of Uganda.
It was started as a community based organization in 1995 by the indigenous people of Mbale and on 6th April 2001 it was registered under the NGO board as a non- governmental organization with the aim of promoting environmental education and forestry development.
According to a survey carried out by this organization it was discovered that most local communities lacked environmental problem awareness. To rectify this situation, the organisation assisted the communities to plant multi-purpose trees on their farms to provide building materials, fodder for animals, wood lots, fuel wood and also protect the soils on steep slopes and river banks. Fruit trees were planted and planting and farmers trained on budding/grafting of high value fruit trees. Moringa, neem, grevillea, musizi, cordia Africana were also grown for nutrition, nitrogen fixing and medicinal purposes.
- To sustainable use resources to meet the needs of the present and future generations.
- To improve on the health and sanitation of the rural communities.
- To encourage development activities e.g women, youth and people with disabilities.
Support was obtained from members contributions e.g membership fee, monthly subscription fees, revolving funds, well-wishers fundraisings, one borehole which serves water throughout the year, sales from seedlings.
The high population in Mbale district has caused a lot of pressure on resource harvesting from the protected areas. This brought about several problems related to human activities. These included landslides, floods, decline in bio-diversity in the protected areas and agriculture encroachment. We therefore promoted agroforestry in the district to develop on-farm alternatives to resources being gathered from the park and forest reserves like building poles, timber, fodder and stakes. To save and sustainably use the trees farmers were encouraged to use fuel saving stoves and other sources of energy like biogas to enable them to use the trees planted sustainably.
Communal grazing was discouraged in protected areas like Mt. Elgon National Park and forest reserves. Farmers were advised to reduce the number of herds and get improved breeds for higher milk production. The planting of napier grass and plant fodder trees like luceana and calliandra was encouraged. Planting on steep slopes and along riverbanks was encouraged to reduce soil erosionand farmers were advised to plant cover crops like mucuna, lab-lab and other cover crops which can reduce soil loss on the farms and improve soil fertility.
During our survey in the project areas the organisation found out that there was a problem of fuel wood shortage and lack of building materials. Also that there is a great loss of soil fertility because of bare steep slopes and also general decline in soil fertility. This led to poor nutrition and resulted in poor health.
Thre was a lack of clean drinking water more especially during the rainy season due to siltation or pollution of drinking water. This led to the depletion of marine life in most water sources e.g fish. Graevellia robusta albizzia spp, calliandra spp, luciana ssp, gliricidia and gliricidia and leuceana diversfolia were also grown. On steep slopes and river banks the planting of maesopsis eninii (musizi) and napier grass was encouraged .
We encourage the planting of fruit trees and provide training on budding of high value fruit trees like citrus spp, avocados, mangoes, guavas and passion fruits and also promote the planting of moringa and Neem for nutrition and medicinal purposes and cultivation of vanilla plant and growing of Arabic coffee.
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