PEACE OF PEACE HAS ACCEPTED A CHALLENGE TO HELP PLANT TREES IN TANZANIA
“Millions of Trees” is a project of Bega Kwa Bega, the partnership between Lutheran churches in Iringa, Tanzania and St. Paul, Minnesota. The millions of trees project wishes to reforest the Iringa area. To accomplish this, we ask Iringa to plant two seedlings when one tree is harvested. Since we will soon begin harvesting trees, Iringa Synod proposes adding 100,000 avacado seedlings to the annual 200,000 pine seedlings planted annually. This increases the millions of trees budget from $8500 to $16000 per year.
CAN BKB DELIVER 100,000 AVOCADO SEEDLINGS?
BKB planted its millionth seedling in January 2016. Our seedling survival rate at 5 years is over 95%. Avocado trees are already thriving in the Iringa area. Saint Paul Area Synod has a team in place including a staff person in Iringa. Iringa synod chose this project, operates it successfullly and wishes it to continue. The seedlings are given without charge to high schools, parishes, and pastors who plant and nurture the seedlings which in turn become their property. Labor costs are very low in Tanzania, land is plentiful. As a result, our costs are a remarkable five cents per seedling.
Tanzania and the world have been deforesting for decades. The country of Norway has a huge tree planting program for carbon capture (one hundred times our size) fifty miles south of Iringa. They have completed a hundred page environmental impact statement which we have reviewed. Other than very thirsty trees such as Eucalyptus that can cause small streams to become dry runs, no environmental hazards were found. Trees reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, a good thing.
IRINGA COMMUNITY IMPACT
Iringa proposed the millions of trees project for fundraising for their schools, churches, and pastors. Lumber and firewood are always in demand, locally and in Dar Es Salaam, the major seaport of Tanzania, home of several million people. Avacado trees will provide fruit for the community. Improved nutrition is important. One third of preschool children are undernourished. School lunch usually consists of beans and ugali (corn meal mush). An avacado canning factory is under construction- the fruit which is not immediately eaten will not go to waste. Trees, food, jobs- good things.
BRING YOUR NICKELS TO CHURCH!
And your dimes, quarters, bills and checks too! Our goal is to raise $500 to help plant 10,000 new trees this year in Iringa. Drop your coins into the large glass jar in the sanctuary or leave your money in the offering plate in an envelope marks TREES. We’ll be collecting through Sunday, May 13. You can also make a contribution at our online giving portal (click here) using the “special designation” category and designating “trees.”