Chisomo, the centre’s new monitoring and evaluation specialist, and Marie headed out to Dowa district to deliver tubes and check on the progress being made in the tree nurseries for the JANEEMO project. With 2 bikes loaded on top of the car we were quite the spectacle driving towards Nambuma.
With Gladson and Brad as our mountain biking guides, we had a great day. Bikes are really the best form of transportation in these remote areas.
We visited 4 villages on our tour and we were not disappointed. Fences are built, compost is composting and tubes are being filled. This village, Mdela, is even asking for more tubes!
There are even clubs that are not part of our program, including Mkuse, that are building fences and buying their own tubes. Although, after seeing their progress Gladson and I decided we would share some of our tubes and seeds with them.
In addition to tube filling, beds are being prepared for Jatropha seed planting. Here, Gladson is explaining how to properly sow the seeds in a bed.
Overall, it was a very encouraging and fun day. However, the hard work is still ahead of us (especially for Gladson and Brad), as it is fairly easy to fill tubes and plant seeds, but much harder to keep seedlings healthy as the dry season continues. We need to make sure that we are inspiring, encouraging and helping our communities to continue working hard to ensure that this project is a success. Healthy seedlings in the ground are just the first step.