Treecovery Farm

Re-greening insights (01/8)
Did you know
Kisiki Hai, or 'living stump' in Swahili, refers to Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). By restoring cut-down trees we can help protect the environment, combat climate change and improve livelihoods.
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Some additional facts and tidbits that are interesting to read.

Our World

Tutorial

Are you ready to explore Our World? Before your journey begins, you might want to know how to navigate this experience.

How it works

Our World is very simple: every chapter will bring you to a different location or aspect of our work. After a short ride by car, motorbike, or bicycle, you will arrive at your destination and receive an introduction. After that, you are free to roam around yourself. 

Use your mobile phone or the touchpad of your laptop to look around. In every chapter, you will find these white circular buttons that you can click on. They are called ‘Regreening Insights’ and will give you more information about a particular subject; perfect for if you want to dig a little deeper into Our World!

PS: Don’t forget to look up at the sky or down at your feet when you’re entering our different regreening locations. You might find some Regreening Insights you didn’t spot at first!

About Our World

At Justdiggit, we want everyone to know about the amazing benefits and great potential of nature-based solutions for the regreening and cooling of our planet. However, to truly understand how these simple interventions transform entire landscapes, ecosystems and communities, you have to see it with your own eyes. And that’s where we run into a problem: we can’t transport the entire world to our project areas.

With this interactive experience, we found a solution. We decided to bring our regreening projects directly to you. Using your computer, smartphone or tablet, you can now immerse yourself in the daily life at our project sites. You will experience the gifts of nature, explore the great potential of large-scale, community-led regreening, and feel the beating heart of one of the most ambitious regreening movements in Africa – as if you were right there with us. 

The project areas

Areas that will soon be green again

Ever wondered about the locations of our projects? Here is a helpful overview of the areas where we run landscape restoration projects in Kenya and Tanzania.

The project areas

The regreening projects cover over 400,000 hectares of land in Kenya and Tanzania. Together with farmers and pastoralists, we are regreening in multiple regions. We’ve categorised them in five landscapes: Chyulu, South Rift and Amboseli in Kenya, and Northern Tanzania and Central Tanzania. Check out the map to find the location of each landscape!

Spreading our wings

Even though Kenya and Tanzania are our most important areas, we also help run programmes in other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Forests4Future programme together with GIZ (The German Agency for International Cooperation) for example, with which we helped scale and implement landscape restoration projects in Togo, Madagascar and Ethiopia.

Besides helping other NGO’s with regreening, we’re in the midst of expanding our own programmes to a new country as well: Senegal. You can expect a lot of regreening updates from this West African country in the future!

Combating drought & desertification

Water bunds to the rescue

Water bunds are a great way to quickly regreen large areas of land, but they are not always necessary. We only dig them in severely damaged areas. Let’s dive into this subject a little more!

A last resort

We only dig bunds in areas that really need it. This is where the land is severely degraded and where nature needs a little push to recover to its former glory. In areas where the land is less degraded and the soil still contains some seeds, the land can be set aside to rest and, with a little help from sustainable grazing management, restore itself.

The perfect regreening solution in Kuku 

Sadly, many parts of the Kuku region in Kenya require a different approach. Over time, the soil has eroded too much, which has washed and blown away the seeds in the soil. The land in the Kuku area is arid to semi-arid, and rainfall is sparse. This means we need to make the most of any rain that falls, by keeping the rainwater in the area. Water bunds help do this in the absence of vegetation; they capture rain so that the water can infiltrate the soil. Without the bunds, the rainwater would have simply washed away, been lost and the area left to dry – even after a good shower.

Bunds are the perfect regreening solution in Kuku, but regreening is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Further on in this experience, you will learn about several other of the many nature-based solutions we apply to restore land!

Boosting incomes & independence

Women-owned grass seed banks

In Kenya, our grass seed banks have been turned into landscape restoration enterprises. We support women from the Maasai community in growing, harvesting and selling the grass seeds, which gives them an additional source of income.

Green oasis in dry land

Grass seed banks are small parts of communal land that are used for the production of grass seeds and hay. They are managed and maintained by Maasai women groups in the area. Once the grasses are fully grown, the grasses produce grass seeds which are sold by the women on local markets or to other regreening projects. In this way, grass seed banks are not just a green oasis in dry and bare land; they’re also an additional source of income. 

Stimulating female entrepreneurship whilst giving nature a boost

These projects help women become more independent and provide additional income for them. The women from the Maasai community who work on the grass seed banks receive various training, for example on seeding, harvesting and entrepreneurial and business-related skills. This expands their knowledge and helps them to become independent entrepreneurs!

Teamwork

LEAD Foundation

Large-scale regreening is not a job for one person, organisation, or country. It requires unprecedented cooperation on a global scale. That’s why we have always worked together with as many partners as possible and will continue to do so until the entire planet is green again. One of our most trusted and long-term partners is LEAD Foundation, a leading Tanzanian NGO facilitating community-initiated and led regreening programs.

Regreening Tanzania

LEAD Foundation is a purpose-driven organisation that originated in 2011 and has developed into one of the leading NGOs in environmental conservation in Tanzania. LEAD has offices in Mpwapwa where it was founded and in Dodoma – the capital city of Tanzania. It also has field offices in Singida and Arusha.

Since its origination, LEAD has transformed the lives of thousands of farmers. This NGO is active in multiple regions in Tanzania, but mostly in the Dodoma region, where they work with more than 400 communities.

The founder: Bishop Simon Chiwanga 

The retired Bishop Simon Chiwanga is the founder and chairman of LEAD Foundation. He is a remarkable man with a longstanding interest in and commitment to regreening. He served as the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Mpwapwa for 17 years, while searching for ways to transform and strengthen communities by restoring degraded landscapes. He came into contact with the technique of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) and thus learnt that trees could be regenerated using the power of the large root systems. 

He founded LEAD Foundation in 2011 right after his retirement. Even 13 years later, his passion for environmental conservation and community development hasn’t dwindled. He still regularly attends training sessions that are organised for champion farmers and is often to be found in the field with the farmers. 

Communities first

LEAD Foundation is committed to an integrated approach to help transform communities and their environments. Community development and education plays an important role here. By organising training sessions, they equip communities and their leaders with all that is required to restore land successfully.

School children project

An example of LEAD’s commitment to serving communities via environmental education is its children’s programme. Primary school pupils can do this extracurricular activity where they learn in a playful but educational way how to bring back trees. By involving children from a young age, we can create a sustainable and greener future for the planet together!

Another regreening technique

Fanya Juu & Fanya Chini

Throw it up, throw it down!

Digging trenches

Besides Treecovery, another regreening technique we often apply, is a combination of Fanya Juu & Fanya Chini. This rainwater harvesting method is based on digging narrow trenches up to 120 metres long along the contours of farmland.

How it works

Fanya Chini consists of trenches and earthen ridges that face downslope. The ridges prevent the rain that falls outside the farm from flowing into or through the farm, protecting the fertile soil from erosion. Fanya Juu prevents the rain that falls within the farm from flowing away, increasing water availability for the crops on the land. In the end, both of these techniques help to regreen land.

FUN FACT:

the name Fanya Chini means ‘throw it downwards’ in Swahili and Fanya Juu means ‘throw it upwards’.

FUN FACT: the name Fanya Chini literally means ‘throw it downwards’ in Swahili and Fanya Juu means ‘throw it upwards’.

Spreading awareness

More green on the big screen

We broadcast our educational documentaries during the movie roadshows to inspire people and show how easy it is to restore dry and degraded land. We’ve also decided to feature a famous Tanzanian comedian in one of the documentaries to reach more people, and it worked!

Documentaries 

For this movie roadshow, we collaborated with young film directors and LEAD Foundation to create educational movies. Specifically, the Kisiki Hai (Treecovery) movies aim to educate and inspire farmers through a storytelling narrative about the different types and positive effects of Treecovery.

Our Kisiki Hai film featuring Jaymondy

The popular Tanzanian comedian Jaymondy makes us laugh, yet he is very serious about the regreening of our planet! He plays the lead in our Kisiki Hai II movie and creates awareness about our projects on his social media channels. His sense of humour and acting skills are an important part of the success of this film during the movie roadshows. Karibu sana, Jaymondy!