ABCP Newsletter and Annual Report--July, 2005 (abcp-nl05 header.gif (8364 bytes))

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With Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background, farmers and villagers at Makuyuni hired to prepare plot for planting of mpingo seedlings are at work chopping weeds.

Good Gifts Catalog Funds Major Mpingo Planting Projects

During the past two years, the ABCP has been the fortunate recipient of funding from the UK-based charity, the Good Gifts Catalog, which offers opportunities for gift giving on behalf of organizations that promote socially and environmentally conscious projects around the world.

Because of this funding we have been able to start several large-scale planting projects in association with local communities who are keeping careful watch on the progress of the trees.

One such project was started at Makuyuni, a community of about 2000 people 15 miles east of Moshi in an area with good soil fertility and annual rainfall appropriate to the needs of mpingo.

To start the project, Sebastian consulted with the Village Chairman, who had a favorable reaction and talked to the Village Committee Council, which has the management of public lands within its scope of responsibility. After a meeting with the town residents and approval by the Land and Environmental Committee, all parties agreed to offer acreage for the project. Since the area was covered with thorn brush, it was agreed to begin with clearing an area of 7 acres. The thorn brush growing there is Acacia mellifera, a plant of wide reknown because of its curiously hooked thorns, which grab onto clothing and animal hide. These bushes are popularly known as “Wait-a-Bit” because if you run into them, then you are forced to “wait-a-bit” until you can untangle yourself.

The first task was to clear the Acacia thorn, which was daunting, but carefully executed.
(continued on pg. 2, see Good Gifts)

Cottonwood Foundation Awards Grant to KEEG

The Kibosho East Environmental Group (KEEG) operates a tree nursery on Mt. Kilimanjaro in close cooperation with Sebastian Chuwa. Their nursery plot is within sight of his home so there is a continual exchange of ideas and coordination of plans between Sebastian and the group.

This year the ABCP applied for funding for the KEEG to enable it to implement a tree planting project to insure livelihood needs and environmental protection in their ward of Kibosho East.

Kilimanjaro National Park was established in 1973. It covers an area of 291 square miles and is surrounded by a half-mile strip which is a forest reserve. The people on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro have traditionally been permitted to enter this reserve to harvest grasses to feed their animals and downed timber for firewood and building purposes. Most farmers practice zero-grazing and so need to collect various fodder to stall feed their animals. They are also known for their expertise at bee-keeping and many have established bee-hives in the trees of the reserve.

Recently the government has closed this half-mile forest strip to public access and included it within the park boundaries, so it is now illegal to enter it. This has caused great hardship to those who have come to rely on forest products to meet their normal needs.
(continued on pg. 2, see Cottonwood)

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Even if I knew that tomorrow the
world would go to pieces,
I would still plant my apple tree.
-- Martin Luther
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Last revised 20 Nov 2008.