CREATE!‘s tree-planting program helps reforest and replenish regions that have been stripped of nutrients due to land exploitation and increasing desertification. Not only do trees support the health of the soil, but they also improve food security for families in rural Senegal. CREATE! helps communities reforest their environments by setting up village nurseries for the rainy season.
Why Support Reforestation in Senegal?
“Trees are our life-givers. It is our duty to plant trees for the future of our children.” – Ndeye Diop, Walo
Did you know that Senegal loses an average of 45,000 hectares of forest per year? Climate change and deforestation are contributing to the rapid encroachment of the desert in rural Senegal. As a result, this causes the soil to degrade, agriculture to be less productive, temperatures to rise, and critical natural resources to decline. Desertification leads to human migration, loss of resources, reduced quality of life, and loss of economic opportunity. Our reforestation campaign is one of the ways we are fighting this challenge.
CREATE! integrates reforestation campaigns into our village programs to teach participants the importance of replenishing the natural resources that they use. In addition, our technicians train community members to organize and mobilize to plant tree seedlings. To date, community members have planted over 70,000 trees through our program!
With careful planning, community members plant thousands of seeds in little sachets early in the year in village nurseries. They monitor their growth until they can plant the saplings during the rainy season. Communities plant fruit and nut trees around their community gardens for shade and harvesting. In addition, they also plant varieties of trees to be used for firewood and building materials. Some of these include papayas, acacias, cashews, lemons, mangos, moringa, beechwood, and flame trees. This variety serves as an essential source of food, medicine, shade, wind protection, and firewood.
The Benefit of Trees
The trees they plant are surprisingly fast-growing and resilient in Senegal’s desert climate. For example, papaya trees grow 6-10 inches in their first year alone and are ready to harvest just 6-9 months after planting. Each tree can bear up to 150 fruits per year.
Over the years, the trees mature, and many produce nuts and fruits that communities harvest for food and to sell. They also provide firewood which families use with their improved cookstoves. Trees also help the soil to retain more moisture and provide some relief from the hot desert sun. Additionally, temperatures can be reduced by up to 10 degrees F under their shade.
Support Tree-Planting Campaign in Senegal
Did you know that your $3 can offset 1,000 lbs of Carbon through CREATE!‘s tree-planting campaign?
Senegal went from having an average of 250 trees per hectare during the colonial period to less than 20 trees per hectare by 1995. With the country’s population boom over the last half-century, there has been increased pressure on natural resources. Especially on trees that are so vital to peoples’ livelihoods in rural areas.
Consider supporting CREATE!’s tree-planting through our Transportation Carbon Footprint Calculator.