Toyota Land Cruiser
During the 11 years that Sebastian has been setting up conservation programs in the Kilimanjaro area he has never owned a vehicle of his own. To transport seedlings and carry on his seed collection, replanting, and educational activities he has always had to rent a vehicle. In Tanzania this is very expensive and sometimes a vehicle can only be rented for one day at a time.
From where he lives it takes 4-5 hours by bus and walking for him to reach the Moshi Mpingo Plot. By car it takes less than 2 hours. Therefore one of our major goals since beginning this work in 1996 has been to find a four-wheel drive, diesel engine vehicle for his use, one that will be able to navigate in the bush when he does seed collections, as well as negotiate slick dirt roads during the rainy season.
With money from the Rolex award, Sebastian has finally realized this dream. He has purchased and reconditioned a used Toyota Land Cruiser which will be ideal for his purposes of transporting supplies and navigating difficult terrain.
New Projects Funded by Rolex
In addition to the purchase of the Land Cruiser, Sebastian has used the Rolex funding for several projects, described below. During the past summer he built a large new nursery at the Moshi Mpingo Plot and a smaller one at Mijongweni School.
Since these were completed, he has begun to travel to establish contacts in communities where he hopes to found Malihai school conservation groups and establish tree nurseries.
Expanded Nursery At Moshi Mpingo Plot
In January Sebastian began work on a large new nursery at the Moshi Mpingo Plot, which he describes as "the heart of our project." His wish was "to do something permanent and memorable" with the Rolex funds.
The dimensions of this nursery are 55 by 12 meters (180 x 40 feet). It was finished in May and can handle 50-75,000 seedlings, depending on the size of pots used. At present there are 32,000 mpingo seedlings in the nursery and work is progressing on the planting of other species.
Sebastian says that many people in the area are requesting to come to the Mpingo Plot to learn how to grow and take care of trees. So at the same time that he will be teaching people how to raise mpingo and other species, they will be giving us their help in producing seedlings for the nursery. Some of the seedlings will be distributed back into the community which donated land for the Moshi Plot. Others will be used to establish our new nurseries.
Nursery at Mijongweni
The teachers and students of Mijongweni Primary School, located in Kibosho East District on Kilimanjaro, have been very active in mpingo conservation. 350 students in that school have joined its Malihai Club and both students and teachers have been active in working to protect the environment.
Because of this Sebastian has helped to fund an expanded and fenced tree nursery at this location. The plot measures 20 by 6 meters (66 x 20 feet) and can accommodate 5,000 seedlings.
The students at Mijongweni will learn how to propagate various species and will help with distribution into the community.
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