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Turning Dodoma green: Tree planting with the KeshoTutachelewa campaign

With the goal to plant 30,000 trees from 2021-22 using funding from Chadwick Textiles, KeshoTutachelewa have been tree planting in Dodoma.

Production, consumer demand, and domestic consumption play a big part in disasters that’s occur to our planet. In Tanzania the economy is based largely on agriculture, timber extraction and firewood for energy. This means that the demand on our environment is massive. For example, up to 400,000 hectares of forest are lost each year. This, and many other examples have contributed to the effects of climate change across Tanzania.

Since 2016, young people from Raleigh Tanzania have been taking action against climate change. Five years ago Raleigh Tanzania Society (RTS) first launched #50milliontrees, a deforestation campaign which reached up to two million people. Despite success, climate change still wasn’t slowing down. So with the aim to reach an even bigger audience and spread more knowledge and skills, KeshoTutachelewa (Tomorrow is too Late) was born.

Kesho Tutachelewa is an Action Not Excuses campaign with the aim of reaching 10 million young people to reduce the rate of deforestation by promoting the use of clean energy source and tree planting in Tanzania by June 2022.

KeshoTutachelewa have launched initiatives to combat climate change for the betterment of Tanzania’s natural resources. This includes the running of a number tree planting events in Iringa, Arusha, Dodoma, Morogoro and Mwanza.

In action: Tree planting in Dodoma

Financial assistance from Chadwick Textiles will support the KeshoTutachelewa campaign to plant more than 30,000 trees alongside different stakeholders in Dodoma from 2021-22, coordinated through the Dodoma City Council office.

School students came together with the Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFS), Human Dignity and Environment Care Foundation (HUDEFO) and Local Government Authorities (LGA) to plant 15,000 trees, half of the overall target.

Ten Primary and Secondary schools and one LGA office in Dodoma were supported by 13 stakeholders to plant these 15,000 trees at 11 school events that were spearheaded by KeshoTutachelewa, helping to tackle environmental challenges. The events promoted awareness about climate change and the importance of tree planting, while aiming to encourage the larger community to join the KeshoTutachelewa campaign.

Vestina Vicent, Itega Secondary School’s Environmental Teacher said:

“I am thankful for the trees that have been planted in our school as they will be a great tool in conserving our environment and helping to fight against climate change in general. The KeshoTutachelewa campaign will make our school green, [will provide] good shade for our students and contribute to a good weather to our school as it was scarce of trees.”

Plans for protecting the newly planted trees will be put in place to make sure the trees get to their maturity level. Madam Vestina of Itega secondary school:

“First, we will make sure all students are involved in protecting these trees by watering them well, protecting against animals, especially during this rainy season”

To ensure effective aftercare for the trees, KeshoTutachelewa have prepared a special handover form signed by the heads of schools, as a pledge to take responsibility for the trees. The city office’s environment unit and forestry officers will also support the schools to maintain the trees.

Edwin Mwombeki, KeshoTutachelewa Participant from Dodoma, said:

“I would like to reassure you that the trees will grow as everyone is planning to see Dodoma grow green, so everyone has supported this #Keshotutachelewa campaign and wish it to be sustainable for many years to come”

These events not only promoted a positive environmental impact in Dodoma but was also a learning platform for young campaigners to practice leadership and coordination skills. Rose Shayo, KeshoTutachelewa Campaign Leader from Dodoma, said:

“First of all, I am proud to be in a team that has planned and delivered all these activities. I have gained experience that is very important in my personal growth especially in leadership. I am still learning about environmental protection, and these events have deepened my interest in the environment. I have learned to be more committed and to work harder on achieving great things”.

Through the tree planting events, 15,000 trees have now been planted. Another 15,000 trees have been distributed and will be planted by village leaders. Through these efforts, the KeshoTutachelewa campaign is contributing to the global effort to reverse deforestation, and ultimately, to end the climate crisis.

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