Why do we
regenerate trees?

The complex problem of deforestation, land degradation, and global warming has led to an increase of dry and infertile land in many African countries. There are millions of living tree stumps in farmlands, grazing lands and degraded forests in Africa with the potential to re-grow into trees, if they are given the chance.

These forgotten tree stumps are brought back by using a technique called Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), or – as we like to call it in Tanzania – Kisiki Hai (‘living stump’ in Swahili).

By regenerating those trees, we are able to restore the degraded areas and make these areas green and cool again.

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What is Kisiki Hai?

Kisiki Hai is a technique to regrow trees and support new, naturally occurring sprouts to grow big. There used to be many trees in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of them have been cut down in the past to be used as firewood, timber, for charcoal production or to make room for agriculture as farmers used to believe that a good land is a clear land. 

With the Kisiki Hai technique the stumps of these trees get the chance to grow into real trees again. It involves a process of selecting, pruning and protecting the stumps.

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CHAPOA TU

The Four Different Steps of Kisiki Hai (in Swahili)

1. CHAgua (select): select the stumps you want to protect;

2. POgolea (prune): select the best few shoots of the stump and cut all the others;

3. Alama (mark): put a mark by tightening a colorful piece of fabric around the stems that you want to let grow;

4. TUnza (protect): keep protecting the trees throughout the year!

Easy reminder: CHAPOA TU! (which means ‘It’s only cool’ in Swahili).

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Watch the instruction video

Benefits of Kisiki hai

Re-growing Trees Has Several Benefits:

* Re-grown trees and naturally occurring sprouts have a good chance on survival as they are native species and already adapted to the local climate;

* The root system of the felled trees is already present and reaches deep into the soil. This allows them to reach the deep groundwater, additionally increasing their survival;

* When re-growing trees or protecting naturally occurring sprouts, often diverse species are growing back. This leads to an increase in biodiversity.

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Benefits of trees Soil fertility

* The shade of the trees helps to cool down the micro-climate. This reduces the heat stress of crops and prevents the evaporation of water from the soil.

* Trees help to retain water in the soil. Together with the decreased evaporation of water from the soil, this leads to increased water availability for other vegetation.

* The leaves falling off the trees act as manure, increasing soil fertility.

* Trees sequestrate carbon, decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and thus decreasing the greenhouse effect.

* Trees attract all different types of birds and insects. These birds eat the fruit of the trees, spreading the seeds through their feces, consequently spreading the regreening.