It is my pleasure to report that with your support, CREATE! has successfully initiated the 2022 reforestation campaign. We organize these campaigns every year during the rainy season in partnership with Senegal’s Water and Forestry Department and with all our partner communities. Even if the main campaign occurs during the months of August and September, under the supervision of our technicians, the women from our communities work together to start planning and preparing for this as early as the summer months of May. If you have ever wondered what preparing to plant trees actually mean, let me walk you through the steps involved.
The first step in preparing for the annual tree planting campaign is the setting up of the tree nurseries in various communities. After years of doing this, our technicians have identified the communities with the best water to establish these nurseries. One of these communities, Mboss, has such fresh and sweet water that the Water and Forestry Department has also established their nursery in this community. Women in these communities work hard with our technicians to first treat the soil, then prepare the soil filled sachets to germinate the seeds in. Once the sachets are ready, the seeds are sown in them. The women then water, maintain and monitor these sachets for the next couple of months, making sure the seeds germinate properly. In the cases where germination does not occur in time, the women repot and re-sow the seeds. By the beginning of the rainy season, the nurseries in all the communities are full of the tree saplings, ready to be planted in the community gardens as well as the various places within the villages.
August is the month when the actual tree planting happens in the CREATE! communities, coinciding with the Arbor Day celebrations in Senegal. During this month, our technicians visit all the partner communities to distribute the tree saplings grown in the nurseries. With proper guidance from the technicians on planting and watering of the saplings, the women start to plant the trees in their gardens. The Acacia oleifera and Acacia melifera are planted as live fences around the perimeter while the fruit and nut trees are planted within. The planting will continue in the month of September with trees being distributed in the villages to be planted in schools and other open spaces to provide a microclimate to the people.
With the interest and support of donors like you, CREATE!’s hope to plant 50,000 trees in rural Senegal in 2022 is well on its way. After nurturing their tree nurseries for a few months, the women from our communities have started planting the trees this August and will continue to do so for the next couple of months. These trees will help nourish the soil, reduce erosion, reduce air temperature and provide food, shade and windbreak to the communities that have been beset with desertification. From all of us at CREATE! and from the women we work with, we thank you all for making this project a success.
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