280 Mivengi planted by the Neighbours at SHIPO catchment area where the spring leads to Nyakamtwe River
Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFS) in Njombe is providing seedlings of different tree species for
free so we could not miss the opportunity of taking some and gathering the neighbours to protect a
water catchment that for the last years is under pressure: maize plantations within the area,
construction of houses, a new fuel station built upstream, pines…
Equipped with hoes and boots, street neighbours, Lumena group members (Environmental group
from Melinze street) and staff working at SHIPO office headed early morning to the catchment area.
The area is quite broad: we started in the swamp and then continued planting along the households
of SHIPO street. 2.5 hours of getting muddy hands, some sweat and connecting with colleagues and
neighbours while doing something meaningful.
It might sound too typical: we need trees to act against climate change. But in fact, that is it: we need
trees. We need them to capture carbon, to protect the water sources, to maintain biodiversity, to
provide food for so many species, to maintain the local (micro) climate, to provide shadow…in fact, to
regenerate the Earth.
But we are aware that exercises like today´s are not enough. We need cooperation and agreements
among community members to manage commons like this water source. This catchment belongs to
two different wards: one of the sides is part of Mjimwema ward, while the other belongs to Njombe
Mjini. Today´s exercise only involved neighbours on one side. Apparently, talking to the other side
about protecting the area brings some tensions: they are different leaders, the land owners do not
live in the area…”changamoto” (challenge). That is why we need Multi-stakeholder Partnerships.