Tanzanian School Children Help Reforest Their Campus

After two weeks of substantial rain, the timing was perfect to get some trees into the ground. Meza Abraham, the manager of Usa River Malihai Club, a small tree planting initiative and tree nursery in Leganga came over to my place in the morning. With a bunch of fresh organic bananas, 2 liters of drinking water, and a  camera, we jumped in the Land Rover Pickup to load 400 trees at his nearby nursery. On our way on the main road we got stopped twice by friendly police acknowledging the importance of planting trees and supporting our mission. After 15km of tar road and 40km of dirt road with a 300kg load in the back we reached the school grounds.  We were immediately surrounded by enthusiastic students  eager to help  offloading  and dig holes for the trees. The ground was ready to receive the mix of Croton, African ebony and Loliondo trees. While we planted, Meza taught the children about   the importance of environmental issues.. After signing the visitors book and a conversation with the head teacher and principal we headed back through a back road which was just passable. The way back was 45km instead of 55km, it took 1 hour longer, and it damaged the suspension but it was worth passing through usually inaccessible terrain. Seeing small homesteads and farms (usually around 1 acre in size) in this area of rural Tanzania is inspiring. Farmers grow bananas, coffee, taro root, avocados, timber trees, and  leafy greens in often very effective food forests. By 2pm we were back home with a new plan to plant another 50 banana trees on a nearby private agroforestry project.