This summer was Diabel’s second year of participating in CREATE!’s annual tree-planting campaign. The community is located in the Fatick-Kaolack region, a hot, deserted area home to small shrubs and few large trees scattered through the sandy land. The shade from these large trees provides relief from the hot afternoon sun, fallen branches make for good firewood, and some provide nourishing fruits- such as the baobab tree. In fact, Diabel has a large baobab tree in the middle of their community garden! “We must protect the environment, so it is necessary to do a yearly tree-planting because it will be important for the future generation,” says Maimouna Yade, a mother of six and an active sustainability advocate in Diabel. “We hope our children will continue these programs because most of us are old.”

This year, Diabel started their own tree nursery where they learned how to care for young saplings. While Maimouna and other participants planted many of these trees, they had enough to share with other communities. “At the beginning of the program, we received plants from older CREATE! partner communities, now it is our turn to give to the new communities,” Maimouna explains. “There are many people who come to the village asking for plants because they can’t get it anywhere else.”

Diabel planted a variety of trees which serve as an important source of food, medicine, shade, wind protection and firewood. Trees also improve the soil conditions which increases the amount of diverse vegetables that people can grow. In an area that experiences desertification year after year, planting trees helps heal the land again and improves people’s livelihoods for generations to come. Maimouna says, “This project can be everlasting if we take care of it.”

Check out some photo highlights from Diabel’s tree-planting campaign this year:

tree planting campaign

Hooray for Diabel’s second year of participating in the annual tree-planting campaign! Maimouna Yade (left), Georges Nesta Mancabo, Papa Ba, and Mbene Dia (right).

tree planting campaign

Papaya trees are a local favorite in CREATE!’s partner villages, as they are particularly fast-growing and each tree produces over 100 fruit per year.

Maimouna Yade holds a Gmelina Arborea, or Melina plant. These are excellent trees to provide shade in the community.

tree planting campaign

Moringa leaves dry in the sun. Moringa or the “never die” tree has exceptional nutritional value and can withstand harsh climate and soil conditions.

Tree planting campaign

CREATE! technician, Georges Nesta Mancabo helps organize the trees in Diabel’s nursery. Georges advises participants on best practices so in the future they will organize and run the nurseries without his help.