This project is taking a multipronged approach to preserving and enhancing the environment for poor rural women of Zambia. The “Environmental Rehabilitation and Education Project” has helped women plant trees, promoted use of efficient wood stoves, and introduced more robust crop varieties in eastern Zambia. The project addresses various environmental problems while benefitting the community at the same time.
50,000 trees planted
20 women’s groups involved
Climate change caused by high carbon emissions is increasing problems for poor farmers, including those in eastern Zambia. Weather patterns have changed there, causing low rainfall in some areas and flooding in others. Collecting wood to burn for fuel has made exacerbated these problems, causing a vicious cycle of environmental degradation.
“The Environmental Rehabilitation and Education Project” has helped women in the Chipata District of Zambia organize into groups that are planting community forests. It has also helped these women get access to energy-saving cook stoves that use less wood. The project has introduced early-maturing and drought-tolerant varieties of corn to women farmers, as well.
Helping the planet
The tree-planting has helped diminish flooding where it was previously rampant, while the efficient stoves have reduced the quantity of firewood that is being gathered. Both restoration and preservation efforts are leaving banks of carbon-holding forests that can stave off climate change, and assist in keeping the land stable and moist.
Decreasing flooding helps area communities, as they face less safety and property risks. The project has helped reduce hunger, as people are planting early-maturing and drought-tolerant crops. Community members have also been able to raise money by selling fruit from some of the trees planted in their communal nurseries. Altered farming practices are allowing the women to grow food year-round, while more efficient cook stoves have reduced firewood-collecting time while making kitchens safer and cleaner.
Neighboring communities have already expressed demand for expansion, in particular for tree planting in areas with low rainfall or flooding. Working with the Mthuzi Development Foundation will help allow the project to expand to areas where it is already established.
Images owned by the activity partners, all rights reserved.