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A new Volunteer, a new Compost and a new Project: Plant a Tree Day 2018

Let me introduce myself, Martin – I am a new volunteer with Sustainable East Africa – I am here in Zanzibar for 2 months. So far, I have been really excited to see all the different projects happening with the SEA partners. Today, I want to tell you about a project dealing with upcycling and making a cleaner and nicer environment. Furthermore, at the end of this post I have the honor to announce a special day for SEA, especially for Teresa and Julia, and for the citizens of Vikokotoni!

We prepared a space and built the boundaries for the compost

When I look around Zanzibar, I see not only the beautiful landscape at the shore and around the cities and villages, but also that most of the soil in and around Stone town seems more like dust instead of from the origin of a big Baobab tree. In many places you can also see trash and rubbish lying around. This is not the case in Vikokotoni (a residential district just next door to the Stone Town). Earlier in this blog the organization JMJV was introduced, who clean the streets at Vikokotoni in the morning. (link) What do they do with the trash? What to do with all the food waste the people in town are producing? What to do with the ash of the many stoves using wood? What to do with dead trees, bushes and leaves? One way of upcycling is to make compost! Thereby, it is possible to generate new soil with a high density of nutrition for different plants and trees.

What to do with the ash of the many stoves using wood? What to do with dead trees, bushes and leaves? One way of upcycling is to make compost! Thereby, it is possible to generate new soil with a high density of nutrition for different plants and trees.

And that is what we did few days ago. With the knowledge JMJV staff and volunteers had gained at a compost workshop in the PPI (link), we found an area at the JMJV office to establish a compost bin. The JMJV surroundings provided enough material to let the compost grow layer by layer. After finished 3 stacks of organic compost layers we now leave the compost to its own intrinsic processes. Every few days it will be turned over and we will obtain fertile and homogeneous soil over the next weeks.

Almost finished stacking the different layers of our compost

This processed soil is ideal for planting trees. This urban area of Zanzibar city suffers problems with flooding during the rainy season and has fewer and fewer open places with shade for people to rest and meet. As more and more green spaces are built over, mature trees are removed, and the situation for residents gets worse.  Due to the increasing traffic on the streets the air is becoming highly polluted. Some individuals are already planting in the area – so we wish to support and re-inforce their efforts!

But a tree planting day is not only about planting trees itself. As trees are being cut down and not replaced, raising awareness within the community is an important part.  Working with artists and students, taking part in artistic projects, we will try to increase the knowledge about the importance and benefits of trees within the upcoming generation. Another big part of this will then be taking care of the soon to-be planted trees. Hopefully this will all contribute to an increasing replanting of trees in the surroundings and a sustainable future.

Anyone interested to support the project – by coming and helping on the day, by paying for a tree to be planted, or using the information packs we are also developing for tree planting in your own area (we’ll publish them here when they are ready!)  – please do come forward. Each week we will give an update of the project – as it develops – follow us on Facebook or Instagram.
You can follow us find SEA opposite Hamamni Baths, or contact us by mobile or FB.

Soon this will be a little tree that can be planted at its new home in the streets of Vikokotoni

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