The world around us is starting to show the heavy burden we are putting on it. Every day we take for granted the things we use that is provided for our use by nature. We continue to slash and burn for crop expansion, our need for fuel for cooking and heat is never ending, burning of bush and grasses has no real sense and human development continually puts pressure on the environment. Everyone is now seeing the effects of changing climates. It is getting warmer every day and even the cooler times of the year are getting colder. The rains which traditionally started around the day you celebrate your Independence now come in late December. And when it rains it is not a gentle soaking but in torrents that destroy homes and cause havoc on nature. Our biggest ally in our fight against the ill effects of climate change is trees which we have taken for granted that they will always be there for us.
Here are some important reasons why we must take better care for our trees and to look after the natural environment:
- Trees are the biggest suppliers of oxygen which we need to live. Trees collect carbons from the air that they use to grow and in doing so they release the oxygen which we breathe.
- Trees provide food for humans, for the animals, for birds and for insects from their flowers, fruits, nuts, bark, roots and leaves.
- Trees provide building material for our houses so we can have security for our families and shelter from the elements. Animals, birds, insects also call a tree their home and take shelter from the elements and from predators.
- Trees provide a living to many communities in and around the forest: sawing timber for export, doors, furniture, building poles for fences, making handles for axes and hoes and even the last place we find rest is a coffin made of wood.
- Trees provide many different medicines that are cures for so many ailments we suffer.
- Trees have important cultural connections to most indigenous peoples of the earth
- Trees provide an anchor to the earth for the soil we cultivate; they create windbreaks so the soil is not blown away by wind or washed away by water.
- Trees filter the air we breathe, taking away dust that causes lung diseases and eye irritations, trees filter the water we drink making it clear and removing much bacteria that spreads diseases like diarrhea.
- Trees cool the earth by slowing evaporation of moisture and keep the water levels in our wells from going beyond reach.
Trees play a major role in everything we do in our daily lives. As an exercise after reading this information just make a list in your mind of all the things you and your family use trees for throughout your daily lives. And then ask yourself have I done my part to replace what I have used? Learn how to plant and look after your forest. Trees are our best friend here on earth: have you given a tree a hug today?
Garry Brooks African Community Project
If we look after our children and our trees: they will look after us!
Felix visited Nandevu Community Forest a member of Nyamphande Community Forests earlier this week and distributed 5000 Leucaena, Jatropha and Moringa seeds to the community. His new bike is in the background.
This is one of the solar powered dry kilns I designed and built a few years back for the curio cravers at Kabwata Culture Village in Lusaka, Mukuni village, Livingstone, Lalinda in Lusaka, Kafue and in Mungu. I think it would really dry mushrooms, pumpkin leaves, and fruits and in villages, the women can then vacuum pack them.