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14 December 2016

Improve Household Food Security And Alleviate Poverty Through Sustainable Management Of Agro-biodiversity In Tibati, Ngaoundal, And Bango, Adamawa, Cameroon

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 376

 Improve Household Food Security And Alleviate Poverty Through Sustainable Management Of Agro-biodiversity In Tibati, Ngaoundal, And Bango, Adamawa, Cameroon

Food insecurity is a major concern in Northern Cameroon. The level of production increases at an inferior rhythm than population (MINADER 2008). At least 40% of Cameroonians live under poverty; they are unable to provide the basic necessities of life (nutrition, health, education and accommodation). According to Borlaug, 2007, agro forestry is an alternative method of traditional agriculture on how the future might unfold in traditional farming. Agro forestry can be used as an alternative system in the field of agriculture as it helps to improve soil fertility and food security, protection of water catchment and other key ecosystem thereby influencing biodiversity conservation.

In collaboration with Trees for the Future, the agroforestry department of ERuDeF carried out a feasibility study to know the root causes of food insecurity and poverty in that region of Cameroon. The findings indicated that the farmers use archaic tools; destroy soil substrate by abusively using chemical products, wrong soil tillage and faster stubble burning. They have little knowledge on soil degradation, conservation, and biodiversity and culture rotation process. Thus, there is the need for the introduction of agroforestry and forest gardening technologies.

This project seeks to improve on food security and income of local farmers in Northern Cameroon through agroforestry techniques and reforestation.

Among many others, the project seeks:

· To increase household and community food security techniques with increased farm yields through alley cropping,

· To improve economic sustainability of household through farm optimisation,

  • To secure the protection of 10 water catchments,

· To protect at least one protected area by promoting improved agricultural techniques.

With the implementation of this project,

· Household food security of 400 famers will increase by 70% through increase in access to diverse food crops,

· Household resilience to economic sustainability of 400 farmers will increased by 60%

· Quantity and quality of water will increase by 50% in volume by 2021,

· Biological diversity will increase by 70%.

To realize this project, USD$225000 is needed for 5 years. Of this amount, $80,000 would be used for sensitization, $35,000 to support communities’ network through the donation of agricultural equipment and agroforestry tree seedlings, $65,000 to be used for training and capacity building and $45,000 for monitoring and evaluation.

This project will be implemented by a team of experts in agroforestry for Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). Since the implementation of that in the Western part of Cameroon in 2007, our organisation in collaboration with their international funders has change the life of more than 1000 farmers by integrating six million agroforestry species and grafted fruit trees in small piece of land of farmers to improve their soil fertility, productivity and diversify their income.

For more information, kindly visit our website: www.erudef.org

Food insecurity and poverty is an inseparable link, to fight against them, sustainable agriculture by practicing new agricultural techniques is indubitable. Your prompt intervention will improve on the livelihood of resourced poor farmers through equipping and empowering them with the necessary tools so as to upscale their agricultural production, hence, combating global food insecurity.

14 December 2016

Ensuring Survival Of Critically Endangered Western Lowland Gorillas By Securing Corridors Linking Deng Deng National Park to Dja Biosphere Reserve In Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 239

 Ensuring Survival Of Critically Endangered Western Lowland Gorillas By Securing Corridors Linking Deng Deng National Park to Dja Biosphere Reserve In Cameroon

Human pressure on forests is increasingly coming from areas outside of the traditional forest sector. Rising global commodity prices have led to an increased focus on expanding mineral extraction and industrial agricultural plantations. Rapidly developing urban areas need more land to meet their needs. Much of this expansion has, and will, come at the expense of historically forested land (WRI, 2014).

Habitat fragmentation and increased anthropogenic activities have significantly resulted to a decline in the population of western lowland Gorillas and Chimpanzees in the Dja and Deng Deng parks. The dwindling population of these species constantly encounters threat from anthropogenic interference. These include hunting, poaching and habitat fragmentation for farmlands. All these therefore threaten the survival of the population of Great Apes within these zones in Cameroon.

One counterintuitive result of the Ebola epidemic is that any population of great apes that is geographically isolated from others, either by natural or human causes, could be island of survival if Ebola wiped out the remaining ape populations in the main forest block of West Central Africa. In the same way, it is very possible that the population of Gorillas and Chimpanzees in the Dja Biosphere Reserve and that of Deng Deng National Park were once living together. Due to the increase in human population and also due to the so many Forest Management Units (FMUS), Technical Operation Units (TOU), and other exploitation units within these areas has resulted to the isolation of the population of these species to be localized only in the Deng Deng National Park and also in the Dja Biosphere Reserve. The linking of these corridors between Deng Deng National Park and the Dja Biosphere , will not only allow for easy migration within these brotherly species but will ensure genetic connectivity within these species, allowing gene flow.

This project has as an added advantage in that the forest units within these areas will be properly managed and secured for posterity.

The overall goal of the project is to secure the population of chimpanzees, gorillas and other endangered species through the creation of corridors linking the Deng Deng National Park to Dja reserve.

The specific objectives of the project will include the following:

  1. To identify land use patterns within the corridors linking Deng Deng National Park and Dja Biosphere Reserve;
  2. To create and manage corridors linking Deng Deng National Park and Dja Biosphere Reserve for genetic connectivity and migratory pattern of wildlife species;
  3. Conduct transects and recent surveys in order to determine the densities or relative densities of key wildlife species and anthropogenic activities in the corridors and protected areas.
  4. Map out biodiversity hotspots of key wildlife, spatial distribution of anthropogenic activities and key wildlife species, and their migration patterns within the corridors (gene flow).
  5. To prepare and set up cottage industries for local soap processing, kernel oil processing and honey processing units in the communities

The key species present are the Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), Forest elephants ( Loxodonta cyclotis), Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious) and leopard (Panthera pardus)

Based on her decades of experience in the protected area creation, management and conservation especially in facilitating the creation of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, advocating the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou wildlife Sanctuary and other conservation corridors, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is proposing a 3 year funding of US$3,000,000 for the implementation of the project, which will cover about 800,000ha.

US$1,000,000 will be used to create and manage corridors in linking the Deng Deng National Park to Dja reserve covering an area of about 800,000ha for genetic connectivity and migratory pattern of wildlife species,

US$ 500,000 will be used to Conduct transects and recce surveys in order to determine the densities or relative densities of key wildlife species and anthropogenic activities in the corridors and Protected areas.

US$ 1,000,000 will be used to prepare and set up cottage industries for local soap processing, kernel oil processing and honey processing units in the communities.

Finally US$ 500,000 will be used to Map out biodiversity hotspots of key wildlife, spatial distribution of anthropogenic activities and their migration patterns within the corridors (gene flow).

For more information, please go to www.erudef.org

Your timely contribution will not only create conservation corridors to help unite small population species whose long term survival is threatened because of isolation but would help conserve our already very fragile ecosystem.

14 December 2016

Reducing Effects Of Traditional Agriculture On Climate Change In Muyuka, Fako Division Of South West Cameroon Through Video Documentary And Sensitisation

Posted in News, Views 239

 Reducing Effects Of Traditional Agriculture On Climate Change In Muyuka, Fako Division Of South West Cameroon Through Video Documentary And Sensitisation

Increasing cost and demands of agricultural products induced by population growth has brought about an increasing adoption of the traditional slash & burn, and shifting cultivation system of farming in most rural communities in Cameroon. This practice of farms burning and forests clearing is very predominant in rural communities especially in Muyuka, Fako Division of South West Cameroon, especially those adjacent to biodiversity hotspots and other protected areas.

In the Lebialem Highlands and Mount Cameroon Area for example, trees are cut down for farmlands, and wood used for ‘Garri’ frying and other domestic usages.

Although a solution to overpopulation as subsistence agriculture sustains many families, the consequences of these farming techniques on the environment are almost always destructive (Atteubomrough, (1997).

The principal vulnerability is the variability in temperature and precipitation resulting to climate change, nutrient-poor soil as a result of erosion, air pollution and destruction of forests. This increases the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) given that most of the trees that absorbed CO2 have been cleared away by farmers for agriculture (Ngome, 2015).

Thus, traditional farming will aggravate the variability of climate leading to changing rainfall, temperature patterns and trends which will have adverse impacts on human and natural resources (Fluet et al 2009, Collier et al, 2008).

This has mostly been attributed to ignorance by the local farmers, who see climate change to be solely caused by industrialised countries undermining the role of their farming system. Therefore, there’s the need for a change in mindset and agricultural practices.

Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit organization, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s and other NGOs’ efforts in local communities in Southwest Cameroon, through the introduction of Agroforestry system of farming is gradually reducing the practice of this farming system. There is however a need for a complete change of mindset and the up-scaling of agroforestry systems in all six divisions of Southwest Cameroon. This could be achieved through the production of video documentaries on the implication of the traditional systems of farming on climate change. Also, an aggressive sensitization outreach to these communities through training workshops on agroforestry system of farming. Nitrogen fixing tree species for farm optimisation will be provided to the different farming groups in all six of SW Cameroon.

To implement this project, over US$25,000 will be required for the next 2 years. US$8,000 will sponsor the preproduction, production, and post production of the documentary on the implication of shifting cultivation and slash and burn farming system on climate change in the six divisions of Southwest Cameroon. Also, some US$7,000 will be used for the production of media publications (Magazines, bill boards, roll ups and brochures) for an aggressive sensitization campaign on the implication of traditional system of farming on climate change and some alternative farming practices. Finally, some US $10,000 will assist in the provision of nitrogen fixing and agroforestry tree species to farming groups in six divisions of the region.

The project that will span for two years, will be carryout by a team of experts from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) with long years of experience in Environmental Communication and Community Conservation Education, Agronomy, and Agroforestry management.
Get more on this at www.erudef.org

14 December 2016

Building A Collaborative Monitoring Approach To Rescue Forest Concessions And Protected Areas In Manyu, South West Cameroon, From Human Encroachments.

Posted in News, Views 198

Building A Collaborative Monitoring Approach To Rescue Forest Concessions And Protected Areas In Manyu, South West Cameroon, From Human Encroachments.

The remaining tropical forests in Cameroon are under severe threat due to encroachment by forest fringed communities. This has led to acute deforestation, hence, habitat loss and environmental degradation. In a two days meeting recently organised by the South West Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife in Cameroon, managers of forest concessions and protected areas conservators in South Western Cameroon reported that over 30 000 hectares of forest land considered as protected and/or restricted zones have been cut down for agriculture and human settlement despite the fact that such activities are against the Cameroon forestry law. What is pushing the locals to this regrettable act, though crucial for solving the problem, is not clearly known. There is therefore the need to take prompt measures in order to redress this situation which has a negative effect on the national economy and environmental sustainability.

It is against this backdrop that the Environment and Rural Development Foundation is seeking for funds to help negate this problem.

The overall goal is to provide a long lasting solution to forest encroachments in forest concessions and protected areas in Manyu Division, South Western Cameroon by advocating for change through all means and afford strategies for effective collaboration between different stakeholders involved.

The project will achieve three objectives;

  1. Carry out an indebt survey within the forest concessions and protected areas in South Western Cameroon in order to appraise the extent, patterns and root causes of forest encroachment
  2. Support and promote forest monitoring by integrating modern monitoring tools and techniques in order to detect early cases of deforestation and take informed decisions
  3. Advocate by all means for a positive change

The project will lead to the following outcomes;

  1. It will rescue over 500 000 ha of production forests and protected forests in Manyu Division, South West Cameroon from human encroachment through the integration of modern monitoring tools and techniques.
  2. The extent, patterns and root causes of human encroachment in the area would be known making it easier to seek long lasting solutions.
  3. It will lead to effective law enforcement by the service in charge of forestry and wildlife due to advocacy and sensitization.
  4. The project will also lead to a net increase in the national economy through increase timber yield since illegal deforestation would have been addressed.

The project which will last for a period of 3 years requires the sum of £150 000. Key activities will include surveys in and around forest concessions and protected areas (£50 000), sensitization campaigns within forest fringed communities (£20 000), purchase of monitoring tools (£10 000), capacity building on monitoring techniques (£30 000), reorganization and support to village forest management committees (£10 000), capacity reinforcement on effective law enforcement (£10 000), advocacy of stakeholders for a positive change (£20 000).

The project shall be executed by a team of experts from ERuDeF and collaborating partners with a long term experience in forest management activities. ERuDeF collectively and individually, and with support from other partners, have led the successful gazettement of the Mt Cameroon National Park (2009), Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (2014) and Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary (in process) as well as creation of a number of community forests in the region. ERuDeF is also involved in the long-term management of the Mt Cameroon National Park. ERuDeF also participated in the design, development and validation of the Mt Cameroon National Park recently (October 2014). ERuDeF is currently engaged in a range of regional landscape conservation projects including the development of protected areas and conservation corridors.

More information can be gotten on the ERuDeF’s website at www.erudef.org

If this project is funded it will help to rescue the remaining natural forests, maintain wildlife habitat and contribute towards the sustainable management of Cameroon’s rich biodiversity.

29 November 2016

West And Northwest Cameroon Farmers Rewarded For Best Agricultural Practices

Posted in News, Views 252

West And Northwest Cameroon Farmers Rewarded For Best Agricultural Practices

Some 70 farmers in the West and North West Regions of Cameroon have been awarded prizes comprising machetes and spray pumps for their extraordinary performance in the implementation of modern agricultural techniques, the Agroforestry farming systems. While the first five laureates from each region were given sprays and/or machetes, 60 others received one machete each.

The prizes including over 135 machetes and 11 spray pumps were offered to the farmers during the 2016 Agroforestry Open Day jointly organized by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and Trees for the Future-USA in Balafotio, November 14, 2016, and Kugwe, November 17, 2016, in the West and North West Regions of Cameroon respectively. It brought together farmers from the West and North West Regions, traditional authorities and government officials, ERuDeF’s President/CEO and his agroforestry team, and international Volunteer.

Organized under the theme ‘’Transforming agriculture to sustain the world of tomorrow’’outstanding farmers, practicing agroforestry systems in the West and North West Regions were during the Open Day celebrations identified and offered farming equipment.

One of the beneficiaries in the West Region, Mr. Pierre Douanla, a Balafotio based farmer, who had applied the alley cropping and life fencing in his farm, received a spray pump and 10 machetes.

He expressed gratitude to ERuDeF and partner for “adding power to his elbow” promising to use the farming tools to boost productivity.

“I am very satisfied to have benefitted from the spray and machetes. These items will facilitate my work and the time I used to go about begging for sprays will be diverted to useful activities” Mr. Douanla said.

He promised to share his equipment with other farmers of his group.

“I will use these equipment with my fellow farmers so that together we can facilitate the production of food crops and better up our lives” he added.

Just like their counterparts in the West Region, farmers in Northwest Cameroon greeted the prizes with lots of joy and boisterity pledging to encourage more farmers to adopt the farming system.

“I would do my best to see that more farmers get involved in this programme. I will go around and sensitise my fellow farmers especially women to follow my example so that they too can benefit from this modern system of farming which is yielding unimaginable results” Mrs. Ayong Jeannette pledged.

The success stories of these beneficiaries thrilled all present and farmers, who have hitherto being hesitant as they expressed their willingness to incorporate the agroforestry system of farming into their farms during the next farming season.

“I now have a better idea about this new technique and the advantages therein. I have been wondering why some of these farmers havebetter farm yields than myself. Be rest assured, I am the next person to join this programme and would personally sensitise my people to join too” his royal highness, Douanla Jean Paul, chief of Balafotio, promised.

Another farmer in the same area Mr. Bruno Ngongang, says he will also adopt the farming system because it is cost effective.

“For some years now, I have been spending a lot on fertilizers and the situation has not really change but from the testimonies today, I have seen that with these trees (agroforestry trees) in my farms, my soil fertility problem is solved at no cost. I think many of us farmers are going to join this programme” he pledged.

In the Northwest, the farmers expressed the same zeal to join the programme.

“I have been facing serious problems in my farm because of soil infertility and my pigs too are not doing well. Today I have been told that just with acacia tree species in my farm, my soil will change and the fresh leaves can be used to feed my pigs because of their high protein content. I wish to be part of the programme so that I can also benefit from its advantages”, a Kugwe based farmer, Mrs. Ebu Beatrice stated.

In the meantime, Technicians present during the ceremony were also awarded prizes for their hard work. While four technicians in the West were promised a spray each, their counterparts in the North West were promised five machetes each. This move was in appreciation of their efforts in coordinating farmers and to motivate them (technicians) to be more committed.

The President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi at the end of the Open Day/prize award, congratulated the laureates encouraging them to continuously increase their commitment in fighting against food insecurity.

The celebration of the agroforestry open door day is in line with ERuDeF’s efforts to promote modern agricultural techniques with the goal of improving soil fertility, promoting farm optimization and value added chain development. The programme is supported by Trees for the Future, USA.

By Payong Marquise

29 November 2016

Irish Volunteer Plants Over 2000 Agroforestry Trees In Fako Division

Posted in News, Views 252

Irish Volunteer Plants Over 2000 Agroforestry Trees In Fako Division

Irish volunteer, Tony Malone, has corroborated the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s efforts in protecting fragile environments, boosting soil fertility and protecting water catchments by planting over 2000 agro forestry trees in Fako Division, Southwest Cameroon.

The tree species including Acacia and Leucaena were planted, early November 2016, around the Mile 15 waterfall and Mutengene water catchment area, with local farmers under the auspices of the ERuDeF Agro forestry team.

The planting of these trees is one of Mr. Malone’s ways of contributing to solving global environmental problems.

“I think planting trees will affect not only Cameroonians and Africans but the world at large as it will help to fight against climate change, improve soil fertility thereby improving livelihoods of communities” the Irish Volunteer said.

Mr. Malone revealed that his visit to Cameroon is the beginning of a new era in environmental protection; a domain which he cherishes but has never had the opportunity to do it because of his tied schedule.

He promised to continue planting trees and support further actions that will benefit the entire humanity and ensure sustainable environmental management.

The ERuDeF South West Coordinator of Agro forestry and Agricultural Development, Mr. Emmanuel Ngome commended the Volunteer’s passion for the environment.

“I am particularly happy with Mr. Tony Malone’s passion for the environment. Despite his age, he had to trek long distances to plant trees for environmental protection. I encourage him and every Cameroonians to give more attention to environmental conservation by planting more trees and protecting other threatened species” Mr Ngome recommended.

The tree planting exercise was carried out by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation with financial support from Trees for the Future, USA.

By Ngome Emmanuel

29 November 2016

Palm Oil, Other NTFPs Production To Increase With New Business Plan

Posted in News, Views 271

Palm Oil, Other NTFPs Production To Increase With New Business Plan

The Silver Back Co. Ltd (SBC) has developed a one year business plan that will boost palm oil, kernel oil and Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) production and generate income to support conservation efforts in the Lebialem Highlands.

The business plan, developed recently by Silver Back Co. Ltd team with technical coordination from Man and Nature technical adviser for Cameroon projects, Mr. Theo Théo Tournebize, laid emphasis on products and services, sales and marketing, operations amongst others.

According to Mr. Théo Tournebize, the new business plan is very realistic in pushing forth the mission of SBC and if well followed, production would increase significantly.

“This new plan has been drawn taking into consideration field realities and the production and storages capacity of SBC Ltd. If the mills operate in full capacity and more marketing avenues exploited, then I believe, the production season for the next year would be a better one”, the Man and Nature Technical Adviser attested.

The SBC Coordinator, Mr. Njom Ignatius, on his part said if the new plan is well implemented, the 2016/17 production season will be great given that the SBC is continuously engaged in both production and market identification.

“SBC has just acquired a more than 10 ton capacity warehouse in Dschang, Western Cameroon. This is very strategic as it is closer to neighbouring city, more storage spaces and easy transportation to markets” he explained.

The SBC boss added that any increase in production means increase in profit and consequently more finances, which will be redeployed for livelihood and community development.

With the new plan in action, it is expected that 112,000 liters of palm oil will be produced in 2016/2017 production season opposed to 18,160 liters produced in 2015/2016. This means there will be a 60% increase in overall production.

This project is carried out with main funding from (AFD/Man and Nature, Transpetrol Foundation).

29 November 2016

More Farmers In Western Cameroon Benefit From Agroforestry Systems

Posted in News, Views 222

More Farmers In Western Cameroon Benefit From Agroforestry Systems

Statistics gathered from Balafotio Village in the Western Region of Cameroon indicates that 80% of farmers trained on agroforestry systems in 2013 have begun experiencing increase in farm yields.

After paying evaluation visit to this area, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Agroforestry Programme Coordinator for Littoral and West Regions, Chamjou Junie observed that 42 of the 50 farmers who planted acacia, luceana and caliandra seedlings in their farms using alley cropping and life fencing techniques have better outputs than their hesitant counterparts.

One of the farmers who adopted this farming system, Mr. Pierre Douanla, says the difference in agricultural productivity since the adoption of the agricultural technique is very clear.

“I have realized that the same piece of land that gave me two bags of beans before the introduction of this system gives me up to 12 bags today” Mr. Douanla testified.

Mr. Pierre Douanla, just like the 41 other farmers, says the increase in agricultural productivity has improved on his household income as no money is spent on buying chemical fertilizer like before.

He promised incorporating other agricultural aspects into his farm; “I intend to introduce apiculture into this farmland so I can benefit in all aspects from this system” the farmer added.

Mean while, new groups of farmers to be trained on farm optimization and agricultural value chain in 2017 have been constituted.

The agroforestry farming system introduced in Balafotio in 2013, was an initiative of ERuDeF with the support of Trees for the Future-USA aimed at improving soil fertility and shunning the use of chemical fertilizers, which are not environmentally friendly.

By Chamdjou Junie Brodelle

29 November 2016

Alou-Tofala Cassava Farmers’ Cooperative Legalisation Imminent!

Posted in News, Views 206

Alou-Tofala Cassava Farmers’ Cooperative Legalisation Imminent!

A file including necessary documents for the legalization of the Alou-Tofala Cassava Farmers’ Cooperative (ATCaFCoS) has been constituted and will be deposited at the Lebialem Divisional Delegation of Agriculture and Rural Development for onward transmission to Regional Delegation of South West for final registration in the days ahead.

This is the outcome of a constituent General Assembly organized recently at Fossungu, in Alou Sub Division, Southwest Cameroon by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), involving all 24 founding members.

Aimed at following up the legalization of ATCaFCos, shares were advertised at fcfa 10000 per share to generate initial capital for the Cooperation with all 24 founding members buying at least a share. Meanwhile, the articles of association were reviewed and adopted pending the deposition of the initial capital receipt at the bank so as to compile the final documents.

At the end of the GA, ERuDeF’s Junior Economist, Mr. Njang Quddus, assured cooperative members that the cooperative will go operational in no distant time, and the local communities will benefit from all its services.

This news was greeted with joy by the founding members.

“I am very happy with ERuDeF’s efforts in facilitating the creation of our Cooperative. We are very happy to know that our long awaited cooperative will soon open its doors” ATCaFCoS President, Mr Ngunyi Peter said promising to ensure the effective management of the cooperative when it eventually goes operational.

The meeting brought together ERuDeF and MINADER representative, 24 founding members of the cooperative and the Chief of Section in charge of Cooperative in Lebialem Division.

The creation of cooperative enterprises is in line with ERuDeF’s Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) Model, an initiative aimed at providing funding opportunities to local communities as a way of improving their livelihoods, scaling up development and diverting communities’ attention from the forest.

By Njang Quddus

29 November 2016

Over 400 Trees Planted To Protect Fragile Lebialem Highlands

Posted in News, Views 218

Over 400 Trees Planted To Protect Fragile Lebialem Highlands

Over 400 seedlings of agroforestry tree species have been planted in schools, farms and around water catchments in communities within the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex, South West Cameroon to protect the already depleting landscape, increase soil fertility, mitigate the effects of climate change as well as protect major water sources in the area.

The tree species, including Acacia and Leucaena, were planted early November 2016 by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and a visiting Irish volunteer, Tony Malone.

During the tree planting exercise, the volunteer schooled students on the importance of the tree planting exercise.

“It is a privilege for you to plant trees at this age. This is something I missed as a student. This exercise is very significant because in no distant time, it would be a pride for you (students) to see that the trees you are setting up today are actually protecting your environment from natural disasters” the volunteer said.

Mr. Malone urged the students to ensure the effective management of the trees planted.

“It does not only suffice to plant trees; you must take proper care of them by pegging them and watering them even twice a week especially during dry season until they are matured to survive on their own” he advised.

ERuDeF’s Lebialem Forestry Coordinator, Mr. Elong Smith, on his part, noted that the trees planted will help improve on the soil fertility and increase farm yields of community members.

Mr Elong expressed admiration for Tony’s passion for environmental protection as demonstrated through his active involvement in the tree planting exercise.

“I am impressed with Mr. Malone’s attitude towards this exercise. He faced the ordeals of our hilly and dusty roads and has planted trees whose impacts will be felt in no distant time”, Mr Elong said.

This tree planting exercise was carried out with financial support from Trees for the Future, USA.

By Ntungwa Smith

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