Climate Change is a reality in the world over with unpredictable weather patterns, increased hunger and starvation and heightened demand on the diminishing natural resources such as forests. For this reason, churches, governments, institutions, religions, profit and non-profit organizations, and individuals are collaborating for solutions. The Anglican Church of Tanzania, in this story, gives us an insight of what it could look like when the Church and the government come together.
The Anglican Diocese of South West Tanganyika has planted 310,000 tree seedlings which consist of 60,000 rainfall attractive seedlings of the type Hegania Abyssinica (locally known as Midobole) and 250,000 timber and wood seedlings. This came after a series of trainings in different parishes on the importance of tree growing and conservation of forests. The tree seedlings were distributed amongst 69 villages in the parishes with the Njombe region. Njombe region is in Southern Tanzania which borders Malawi. Some of the trees planted are timber and wood trees for which the members of the community signed contracts agreeing to remit 20% of the proceeds from timber sales to replacing the cut trees.
We interviewed Fr. Keneth Mtulo of the Anglican Diocese of South West Tanganyika who informed us that this project was possible through partnership with Njombe Natural Resources and Land Management and Tanzania Forestry Services through whom, the church acquired barren lands in 20 parishes most affected by Climate Change in Njombe region. The government agencies provided technical support all through to identify the right trees for different areas and purpose such as near water schemes and previously cleared forests.
“Ushirikiano baina ya Kanisa na serikali imekuwa jambo la kipekee katika kutekeleza zoezi la upandaji wa miti hasa kwenye vyanzo vya maji. Ni maombi yangu kuwa ushirikiano huu utaendelea katika jukumu la kutunza mazingira katika mkoa wa Njombe”. Rt. Rev’d Matthew Mhagama speaking during the review meeting of the project where he emphasized on the collaboration between the government and the church on tree planting especially near water catchment areas. He hoped for the continuity of the partnership and collaboration for environment protection and conservation.