Re-greening with Tanzanian farmers
Dodoma is the heart of Tanzania and home to the capital. With a surface of 41,311 km2 it has almost the size of the Netherlands. The population is 2,083,588 (2012), of which 90% depends on land for livelihood. The land is used for small-scale agriculture and livestock keeping.
Although communities in the Dodoma region (a 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.
To improve peoples’ livelihoods and climate change resilience in the Dodoma region, as part of the ultimate goal of regreening Tanzania, we partnered up with LEAD Foundation. In 2017, the area for this program was selected and the design for the project has been made. It will be implemented first in the ditrict of Kongwa, in the eastern part of the Dodoma region. This has already started in December 2017. As of May 2018, the program will be introduced in the entire Dodoma region.
Together with our partners LEAD Foundation and MetaMeta and the local communities we have selected the interventions that will be implemented in the coming period. This program will consist of a combination of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) and rainwater harvesting techniques.
- Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration
- Fanya Juu and Fanya Chini
- Rainwater harvesting
- Capacity building
Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration
From stumps to trees
There are millions of living tree stumps in farmlands, grazing lands and degraded forests in Tanzania with the potential to re-grow into trees, if they are given the chance.
Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), in Tanzania also known as “kisiki hai” meaning “living stump” is a fast, low cost and sustainable method of regreening most degraded landscapes.
FMNR plays an important role as trees not only prevent soil erosion, but also provide a wide range of services such as food, increased soil fertility, and fuel wood.
Fanya Juu and Fanya Chini
Digging contours to harvest rain water and prevent erosion
Once the farmers have mastered the Kisiki Hai technique, they are enabled to use other regreening methods: Fanya Juu and Fanya Chini. With these methods farmers dig contours within their farmland in order to harvest rainwater. Fanya Chini means ‘throw it upwards’ in Swahili. It prevents the rain falling outside of the farm from entering the farm, inhibiting erosion of the fertile soil. Fanya Juu means ‘throw it downwards’, and prevents the rain falling within the farm to flood away, increasing the water availability for the crops on the land. In the end it helps the farmers to regreen their land! Want to learn more about this technique? Watch the instruction movie!
By digging bunds
Another re-greening technique that is used in the Tanzanian project are rainwater harvesting activities. By digging semi-circular soil bunds, the hard top layer of earth is opened up, thereby ensuring rainwater is retained. Otherwise the water would wash away over the dry and barren soil. Through the bunds rainwater can get underground. This way destructive erosion by gullies is prevented and vegetation has the change to grow back.
5,000 bunds have been dug in communal areas in Pembamoto, Dodoma region!
Become a Kisiki Hai champion
By training 1200 facilitators (to become “Kisiki Hai” champions), we can reach out to the farmers in 300 villages in the Dodoma region. These facilitators train the farmers on how to regrow trees on their farmlands, which will increase tree density and diversity, drought resilience and an increase in food production and household income. They will also be trained in rainwater harvesting practices, which will be an additional and reinforcing element that will help to regreen the land.
We believe it is not only important to train and educate people, but to also find other ways to reach and inspire them. We want to create a movement: putting restoration on the map in Tanzania, and showing subsistence farmers but also urbanites, how they can themselves take action and regreen their land. A striking example of this is the use of movie screenings: on an almost continuous basis, a video-caravan is going from village to village, reaching 300 villages in total. In all these villages a large movie-theatre screen will be set up, which shows the inspiring movie ‘Kisiki Hai’ that is filmed entirely in the Dodoma-region. It shows the villagers in an engaging way the benefits and techniques of using FMNR and rainwater harvesting techniques.
"Looked almost impossible to re-green the area! But never under estimate what a shovel can do!"
Godlove, Communication & Marketing at LEAD Foundation