On Friday July 26th, 2013 Catherine and Chisomo went to Dowa, the JANEEMO project area. The main objective of the trip was to distribute seeds and tubes to the clubs that are taking part in the project and to see how the project is progressing. This year the number of the clubs has increased to 20, which means more work. However, this is encouraging to us to see more people interested in planting trees and reforesting their villages. Each club got 10,000 tubes, 2kgs of Moringa seeds (Chamwamba), 0.5 kgs of Faidherbia albida seeds (Msangu) and 1kg of Khaya Nyasica (Mbawa). The seed distribution went very well and the club members were very happy to get the seeds and tubes on time.
One interesting thing is that the clubs are making their own efforts in finding other seeds and tubes to grow more trees. They have been planting fruit trees especially citrus trees. The club members are planting more trees so that they can plant more around their homes as a primary purpose and sell some as a way of getting money in the short term. They intend to graft the fruit trees and earn higher prices when they sell but also better yields when they plant.
Capacity building is a very important part of the JANEEMO project. Kusamala believes that knowledge is power and it goes beyond project timelines. It is against this background that during the visit a meeting with the community was conducted to get their input as to areas in which they think they need more training and technical support. The communities repeatedly asked for training in food and nutrition. They want to know better about better ways of preparing food. Apart from food and nutrition they also mentioned tree grafting.
It was very interesting and encouraging to see a community that is ready to reclaim the natural ecosystem through afforestation.