I planted 3600 trees on a 6 – acre farm during 2013. In 2-3 years from now I can happily expect TZS. 60,000,000 from selling matured trees. I am so much impressed by this project, I have already generated TZS. 35,000,000 from selling tree seedlings. I used part of the income to build a commercial house from which I earn TZS. 140,000 per month. I use this income to cover all my household needs, but also built a modern house like those you see in the city centre. In the past we could see fires burning in the forest, up to two times a week, but now it is not the case anymore as villagers are busy with their trees.
I have been growing trees for the past 30 years but was so surprised to hear from EAMCEF that there are fast growing species. Without any delay, I started growing and selling seedlings – made up to TZS. 20,000,000 for three years, and later I planted 20 acres on my own farm. I used part of the income from selling of seedlings to build a modern house in Iringa Town thereby saving money which I andmy family and relatives would have incurred for living in hotels and guest houses. Money from sales of tree seedlings rescued my relationship with my wife…every time we wanted to have privacy we were forced to go somewhere away from home since our house was too small, and with kids… you can imagine how hard it is to enjoy with my wife! sometimes, until midnight.
The tree planting project has helped the school solve long-standing challenges, especially relating to services offered to pupils. Income from sales of seedlings was used to build a large kitchen, cooking and serving equipment/utensils etc., but of most important the school installed a solar panel to help pupils who are waiting for their standard seven exams get extra study hours during the night. Teachers believe that it is this solar panel that has contributed to good performance of pupils – from 60.3% pass (in 2016) to 68.9% pass in 2017”, narrates Ponziano Lung’ali (Environmental Teacher, Mbawi Primary School, Kilolo District)