In 2002, Terrawatu initiated tree planting networks in heavily deforested villages in northern Tanzania. Modeled after the Green Belt Movement, network groups of 20-30 villagers collect indigenous (and some fast-growing exotic) seeds, sow and cultivate them in nurseries, and transplant them on both public and private lands. To begin, all of this was done under the guidance of our staff forester. Now skilled in tree cultivation techniques, network members have transplanted tens of thousands of seedlings in and around villager’s homesteads, on school, church and other public lands.
In 2005, the World Bank Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples awarded Terrawatu a grant to support our continuing efforts. Co-funded by the Tonlie Fund, Gibbs Farm and individual supporters around the world, Terrawatu used the funds to:
- Provide networks with planting equipment and fencing materials for nurseries to keep hungry livestock away;
- Assist in obtaining a reliable supply of water for seedlings by constructing rain harvesting systems and provision of donkey transport;
- Supply technical expertise for plant cultivation and natural solutions to pest problems;
- Encourage the re-discovery of traditional uses of plants for improving health of human and livestock, and the natural environment.