dws-just-dig-it-tanzania-kids-770px-1Dutch student Lara Aelen recently reported in a blog on her work with farmers to re-green and improve the productivity of farm land in central Tanzania. 

Aelen works as an intern for Justdiggit, a non-profit organisation that runs several projects in Africa to halt erosion and desertification simply by planting trees and re-introduce ancient agro-forestry rainwater harvesting practices. 

By giving such a kick start, Justdiggit achieves a change in local climate changes. The changed landscape creates a ‘hydrologic corridor’, that leads to regrowth of vegetation and improved soil conditions.

dws-just-dig-it-tanzania-kids-sat-image-350px  School kids looking at a satellite image of their village for the first time in their lives.

Blog by a mzungus
Read what Lara reported from Tanzania and why school children (on top photo) came to take a closer look on what these ‘mzungus’ (foreign people) were doing.

'Hi, my name is Lara Aelen, intern at Justdiggit and a Dutch student from Wageningen University, but here in Tanzania they used to call me Lala.

Together with my colleague Eduardo, intern of partner organization MetaMeta and originally from Mexico, we think about and try out ways how farmers can monitor large scale re-greening progress themselves.

Therefore, we visit farmers to test monitoring methods at their plots and organize workshops to see how re-greening activities can spread in a village.'

dws-justdiggit-tanzania-landscape-350pxThe landscape in central Tanzania that Justdiggit wants to re-green by creating a 'hydrological corridor'. 

Never used maps before
'During one of these workshops in Nghumbi, a champion town in the Kongwa district, we used a satellite image to teach farmers how to use a map to record re-greening activities.

This may sound simple, but might be difficult to understand for farmers who have never seen and used such a ‘map’ before. Surprisingly, they immediately indicated their farm on this map! This gave us vital information on where re-greening already takes place.

In the afternoon, me and Eduardo went to the farmer plots in the field where we together with the farmers carried out soil analysis and counted and measured trees and bushes.'

Amazing end of our day
'At the end of the day we climbed up a hill and took a picture of the village as you can see underneath. This moment made us realize once again the importance of re-greening such a beautiful place.

This landscape with people waving from below, the red soils, green trees and cattle grazing made an amazing end of our day.'

This blog was originally published on the website of Justdiggit.

Read also on this website
Justdiggit about to start re-greening desert areas in Mtanana, Tanzania, 14 April 2017
COP22: Africa's hydrologic green corridor grows into reality for jump starter JustDiggit. 17 November 2016
Country: Tanzania

More information
Naga Foundation
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
+31 20 737 23 66

The trailer on RedBull TV of the recently released documentary 'Follow the Wind' with kiteboarder Jerrie van de Kop. To raise awareness for global warming and desertification, he travelled from the warm waters of the Indian ocean to the snowy peaks of the Kilimanjaro in Kenya, only using the wind.