Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda

by Wild Forests and Fauna
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Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Plant 50,000 Native Trees for Refugees in Uganda
Nursery Workers Tending to Tree Seedlings
Nursery Workers Tending to Tree Seedlings

After the success of our pilot project in October of 2017 that saw 1500 moringa seedlings transported from our nursery in Gulu to the Palorinya Refugee Camp in Northern Uganda and planted to help supplement the diet of the refugees there, we made plans to expand the project in 2018.  To significantly ramp up seedling production for this region we, along with our local partners and workers, decided to build a nursery in the Palorinya region capable of generating 150,000 seedlings at a time.  

We're happy to report that the funding for the nurseries construction, both locally sourced materials and labor, has already been raised and construction is set to commence in April 2018 with seedling production set to start in May 2018.  

To better service the refugee community the nursery will grow, in addition to the Moringa, a mixture of fast-growing timber species that can be used for the sustainable harvest of firewood, including the following species; Markhamia lutea, Acacia, Maesopsis eminii, Combretum molle, and Khaya senegalensis as well as fruit trees, including the following species; Jackfruit, Avocado, Papaya, Guava, and Orange. 

Trainings and seedling distribution will continue tin later planting months, primarily June and August. Each participating refugee household will receive 5 seedlings to plant on their 30m x 30m plot of land. While there may be some variation dependent on household preference and need, the standard distribution for each household will include 2 seedlings aimed at deforestation-free firewood sources and 3 aimed at increased nutrition (moringa and fruit trees).

In addition to tree seedling distribution and planting at the household level, woodlots for sustainable, deforestation-free firewood will be established next to schools and health clinics. Because host communities have much larger areas of land than refugees, the approximately 1,250 host community households participating will receive approximately 40 seedlings.

We're extremely excited about the potential this project has for this refugee community; our hope is that success of this project will lead to a replicable tree nursery and outreach model that can be used in refugee camps throughout the tropics where moringa grows. Data on all seedlings distributed and planted will be compiled and our team will document the program’s methodology step by step.  A written case study highlighting how the planting of fast-growing timber species can divert deforestation due to firewood needs and how the planting of fruit and moringa trees can diversify refugees’ diets will be produced, including both successes and challenges. The purpose of this case study will be to provide a ‘proof of concept’ so that this program can be replicated at various levels; throughout the rest of Palorinya, to other refugee settlements in Uganda, and adapted to other refugee contexts where moringa grows.

We look forward to keeping you updated on the project's process in the coming months!  In the meantime please continue to offer your support by sponsoring the production and planting of the Moringa trees for the refugees here on GlobalGiving!

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You may ask why we’ve decided to focus on planting Moringa for the Sudanese refugees in Northern Uganda; there are several reasons:

 

1. The Moringa tree is native to this area. 

As part of the Native Seeds project it’s important we utilize native plants in our restoration and humanitarian efforts at all times.  As Project Manager Georgia likes to say “Sometimes Nature has the answer.  It just needs Human hands to spread it.”  There is no need to bring in foreign plants when a local one fits the other criteria we’re looking for!

 

2. The Moringa tree is fast growing. 

They can reach up to 3 meters in their first year, leaves can be harvested as earlier as 3 months after planting and bloom after only 8 months.

 

3. The Moringa tree grows well in Arid climates. 

Due to climate change, the Northern Ugandan climate is far more Arid than in the past.  Moringa can survive and thrive even in arid conditions.

 

4. The Moringa tree offers amazing nutritional value. 

Gram for gram Moringa leaves contain 25X more iron than spinach, 4X more Vitamin A than carrots, 4X more calcium than milk, 2X more protein than yogurt, 3X more potassium than bananas and 7X more Vitamin C than oranges!

The Moringa is a great, natural way for us to combat nutritional deficiencies rampant in this part of the world!  

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Nursery workers loading moringa seedlings
Nursery workers loading moringa seedlings

In response to the growing South Sudanese refugee crisis in Uganda, the Native Seeds Project is designing and implementing a Refugee Outreach program that plants trees with refugee communities. The project focuses on two major needs: increased nutrition to supplement the refugees’ food rations and the need for sustainable sources of firewood to prevent the further degradation of forests surrounding the refugee settlements. Within this model, we have identified moringa as a viable tree to provide ongoing nutrition to refugee communities, and several fast-growing hardwoods that can be sustainably harvested for local fuel needs.

The millionth South Sudanese refugee crossed into Uganda in August, and those numbers continue to rise. There are over 36 refugee settlements in Northern Uganda at the time of our October 2017 trip to the area, and based on the current political situation in South Sudan, these settlements are there to stay. Finding ways to support these refugees, and the host communities surrounding them, is critical both for their livelihoods as well as the ecosystem and environment in which they now call home.

Our first contact working within the the refugee settlements was Lutheran World Federation (LWF). LWF is one of the main refugee service providers in Northern Uganda, sub-contracted by UNHCR. Their HQ staff said that Palorinya Refugee Settlement, located in Moyo District near the border of South Sudan and home to 184,000 refugees who arrived between February – August, would be a perfect fit for our proposed project. From there, we had a preliminary meeting with LWF contacts on the ground at Palorinya, as well as the Moyo District Government’s main officers in the field of Environment. As all environment-related activities within refugee settlements are carried out by the local government, it made sense that our main partner for the implementation of our project would be Moyo District Forest Office (DFO), rather than LWF directly.

We produced 3,000 moringa seedling in September in preparation to implement a pilot within Palorinya refugee settlement. Due to unexpected rains, only 1,500 survived and were transported to Palorinya for distribution and training. Over the course of two days in October, our team, in collaboration with the DFO, distributed 1,500 seedlings and conducted trainings with 28 EPCs, who carried that training to a total of 375 refugee households. This means that in total, the pilot’s impact reached over 1,700 refugees.

We plan to significantly scale our Refugee Outreach Program at the start of 2018. Our Pilot Phase in October served as ‘proof of concept’ for the viability of the project, as well as the integrity of our partner, the Moyo District DFO. It also showed us what works and what doesn’t work. Primarily, we learned that transporting seedlings from our nusery sites in Gulu up to Moyo is time-intensive, costly, and results in the loss of seedlings due to the terrible state of the road to Palorinya. Through this understanding, and in collaboration with Moyo District DFO,  we have restrategized our outreach plan in 2018 to include the creation of tree nurseries on-site at Palorinya.

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Wild Forests and Fauna

Location: Carnation, WA - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @WildForestFauna
Project Leader:
Corrie Reynoso
Carnation, WA United States
$3,116 raised of $15,000 goal
 
189 donations
$11,884 to go
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