The new project that will focus on improving food security and increasing awareness of the causes and consequences of environmental degradation in Rubana River Catchment area in the in Bunda District, Mara Region of northern Tanzania.
The Rubana River originates in Serengeti National Park and eventually flows into Lake Victoria. In this area of Tanzania, the damaged ecosystem, combined with poor agronomic practices and unproductive local seed varieties, is undermining the ability of the local population to produce sufficient food and to build and sustain reliable livelihoods. Cutting down trees for firewood or to make charcoal to sell and overgrazing by large herds of animals are primary causes of environmental degradation.
Through our partnership with the MacArthur Foundation, activities have been designed to reduce the speed that further ecosystem damage takes place, and to rehabilitate the land and the riverbanks. CPAR will introduce The Farmer Field School approach and Conservation Agriculture so that families can increase their crop varieties and yields, have healthier livestock and increase household incomes.
A sample of strategies that will be used:
The introduction and establishment of Ngitiri Fodder Management Systems. To alleviate acute animal feed shortages during the dry season, Ngitiris are carefully managed tracts of land that are excluded from grazing during the wet season and then used for fodder at the peak of the dry season. The Ngitiri is a locally designed and highly effective means of investing communities in the long-term goals of restoration and conservation.
The establishment of community Tree and Vetiver Grass Nurseries. The project will restore degraded riverbanks, wetlands and woodlands through the planting of trees and vetiver grass. Communities will be encouraged to establish wood lots of soft wood species like gravillea robusta and mijohoro which take 3 to 5 years to mature. Community members will be encouraged to plant trees on their own land and around their households too.
Promoting Energy Saving Stoves and Biogas: The project will promote these two appropriate technologies as an integrated means of reducing wood fuel consumption. CPAR has found the energy saving stove to be appealing to women especially because it reduces the amount of time they have to spend looking for firewood, it decreases the amount of smoke in the household affecting their eyes and lungs and, unlike the three-stone fireplace which requires constant attention and poses a danger to toddlers, a pot can be left on an energy saving stove while the woman attends to other activities. CPAR will work with its partner, Village Sharing Agency (VISA), to promote household biogas systems as a means of providing alternative energy and organic manure.
Thank you to the MacArthur Foundation, and all of our donors for their continued support as we continue our work in creating a healthier environment.