Without trees topsoils are not protected
While I am writing this report, the people involved in the project in East-Gojjam Province in Amhara are working on setting up the new tree nurseries. This is an exciting first step towards bringing back the trees in the area. Trees have many important benefits, and one of them is regulating the water cycle and protecting top soils. Let me explain:
When we think of Ethiopia, we picture a hot, dry country. But is this a fair assumption? The answer depends on the region. Some areas have greater rainfall, and receive rainfall more frequently, than others. In East-Gojjam it is hot and dry for nine months of the year. These months are called the 'dusty season', because the wind blows the dry sand from the fields and roads into the air. But in June of each year dark clouds form above the highlands, announcing the start of the 'muddy season', when heavy rains transform the landscape into mud-covered countryside.
Although rainfall is often erratic and unreliable, the East-Gojjam zone has more than 1500mm (59 inches) of rain per year on average. That is a lot!
'Kiremt' rains, the long rainy season are of crucial importance to local farmers. It is these rains that will kick-start the growth of their produce that must feed their families over the year to come. But the heavy rains have a downside. They wash away unprotected topsoil from the land, which can become less fertile and cause farmers to grow less food per hectare.
This is why reforestation is so important. Trees prevent further soil erosion because the roots hold the soil together and improve drainage of the rainwater. By bringing back trees WeForest brings back life to the landscape.