28/12/2016 0 Comments
‘’There is a great importantce to helping society fight against poverty. By doing so, we can help the whole community to realize their potential and join hands to build a healthy society which cares about the environment’’ (Jonathan Nkungu)
Over a long period of time, my country of Tanzania has experienced a shortage of desks in primary schools both located in rural and urban areas. In most cases the situation has forced 4-5 students to sit on one desk while the others sit on the floor. The environment for studying becomes worse for the students to perform well, and causes a drop in academic performance for the most students in rural areas. Due to current government policy of free education a high number of young students have been admitted in schools with little available facilities to serves all needs of students.
There should be a long-term approach which is environmentally friendly, sustainable and ecological stable that would help to solve the problem while contributing to conservation of environment. Our current project initiative called Eco-tree planting aims to increase forestry resources at schools by planting Pinus Patula trees for later school use (i.e. making desks & school furniture) and fruit trees on school-owned farm land. Increasing the accessibility of forestry resources at schools in a sustainable way while conserving the environment has been my driving motto. It has opened my eyes to see the opportunity and find the best way to help the most schools invest in tree planting for the purpose of environmental conservation while solving other school needs.
After receiving my bachelors degree on 3th December, 2016, at Ardhi University-Dar es salaam, I travelled to Biharamulo District found at Kagera region in Tanzania to observe the favourable areas to support our project initiatives at ten schools. My journey took me two days to arrive by bus from Dar es Salaam to Biharamulo town.
Upon arrival at Biharamulo district, I borrowed a motorbike to start my journey on ten schools located on three wards in order to be sure about the available areas for planting trees. The journey took me four days to finish visiting all ten schools - namely Bisibo, Musenyi, Rubondo, Nyakatuntu, Ntungamo, Kiluluma, Kisuno, Kasuno, Katahoka, and Katokeprimary schools.
My first school visit was Bisibo primary school located in Bisibo ward. The school was established in the year 1978. I got an opportunity to meet with my old teacher who taught me in Standard III, and who is now the Headmistress at that school. We shared a lot about her plan to 'green' the school environment. The school faces the challenge of a lack of pit latrines, a library and desks. The school decided to build five latrines to support the students and prevent them from outbreak of sanitation diseases. Currently the school have created a plan to plant 2000 trees at their school to save the environment surrounding the schools for future use, but they lacked tree seedlings. On behalf of the EEDS team I provided long-standing support to her school to plant trees through our Eco-tree planting project. The school have plentiful areas for tree planting.
Before I left the school, I got an opportunity to speak with a few young students, inspiring them on the importance of conserving the environment. I told them that I myself was too late to have this idea as a child and turn it into a reality when our family had the land. At the time when I was in primary level, I could have planted trees to support me in paying my school fees. You’re not too late to use this opportunity to plant and care for trees that you plant at your home or farm to save the environment and to help you for the future.
My journey ended at Musenyi Primary school. The school was started in the year 2002 and has struggled with a shortage of desks for five years. The school administration decided to plants 800 trees to replace the trees that will be cut down to make desks. Speaking with the head teacher, he said the trees have helped to reduce the shortage of desks and now all students have a desk to sit at. He believes that if the program of tree planting is highly promoted in schools, this will enable a spirit of students caring for the environment. It will also help the schools have enough resources that can be utilized better for the other enrolled students with the community. The school still have 4 free acres of land to be planted. About 2000 trees are needed to be planted at their school. They feel happy for EEDS organization to select their school to be among the ten schools that will be benefited from the project.
"Alone we can make a difference, together we can change the world".