Dutch nonprofit Justdiggit is assiting farmers in Tanzania to re-green their farmland and reverse climate change through “kisiki hai” meaning “living stump” – which is a fast, low cost and sustainable method of regreening degraded landscapes.
By using the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) method and re-introducing rainwater harvesting practices, Justdiggit aims to restore soils, re-green the area and improve the productivity of the land in the Dodoma region of central Tanzania.
Although communities in the semi-arid area have demonstrated an amazing resilience to harsh environment and severe climate, the complex problem of deforestation, land degradation and climate change has continued to accelerate at an alarming rate, thus destroying the capacity of ecosystems to sustain biodiversity and to provide natural resources of water, and fertile soils.
Justdiggit teamed up with Tanzania-based NGO, LEAD Foundation, to reach out to 300 communities in the Dodoma region, whereby 194,400 farmers are provided with trained in Rainwater Harvesting and FMNR techniques. The goal is for 194,000 hectare to be re-greened again, and improvements to water availability for communities.
To reach farmers in the Dodoma region to explain the importance of kasiki hai (Swahili for tree stump) and the environmental value of stumps that can grow to become actual trees, LEAD Foundation and Justdiggit used the power of music and visual storytelling to raise awareness. For that a van with a soundsystem with blaring music toured the region showing farmers a video explaining kisiki hai, FMNR and the benefits to both the environment and inhabitants.
Justdiggit makes dry land green again by inspiring and activating farmers, positively impacting climate change, nature and people. Degraded landscapes are restored by combining traditional techniques with new technology and a strong communication approach.
The nonprofit is also involved in projects in Kenya where it is working with the indigenous Maasai tribe to dig more than 78,400 semi-circular rainwater bunds, bringing back vegetation to the severely degraded lands and making them once again useful for the community. It is also is bringing back hundreds of hectares of forest cover to Amboseli National Park, which holds one of the largest elephant populations in Kenya.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com