Tree Today, Forest Tomorrow

Tree 2

Picture by Antony Sungisayi (ABDO): Fresh wood used to make a fence in Tsholotsho

It is difficult sometimes for human kind to understand that there is need to nurture environment to avoid being at the bottom of the food chain when nature is not able to give back. The deserts that people create sometimes become inhabitable. In Matabeleland, more than 25 000 hectares of gazetted forest was destroyed by veld fires within 7 months in 2012. There were various causes, among them, farmers clearing land, constructing fireguards using fire, poachers trapping animals or communities smoking bees, all going wrong. The fires destroyed vegetation on 27 538 hectares. Overall, poor management of the environment by human beings has destroyed the environment to this state.

There is also wanton cutting down of trees in Tsholotsho and grass in Chakari to fence pieces of land without replacement. This land is fast turning into a desert and if not properly managed, even the few trees that are growing will be no more. When Africa Book Development Organisation (ABDO) (Afrikagrupperna partner) visited the communities in Matobo, the situation was so pathetic that donkeys and cattle had to eat tree leaves and bucks to survive. There was virtually no grass. A few years back this barren land could have been very fertile; flourishing with trees and grass had not been for the lack of knowledge causing manmade hazards. In 2012 ABDO held 2 workshops in Matabeleland on Environment and its Effect. The workshops were meant to educate the communities and equip them with skills necessary for tendering their nature. This workshop will be complemented by the Environmental Lens Trainings to be conducted by Afrikagrupperna in Zimbabwe in April and July 2013.


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