In the next five years, a man in southern Senegal, Africa is planning to plant five million tress, BBC reported. His name is Adama Diémé. He had this brilliant idea when he came home to the Casamance region in 2020 after spending some time working in Europe. The 48-year-old was surprised to find that, if any, of the villages that had formerly been home to hundreds of enormous trees were now only home to a few. “You won’t find a single tree in some villages. They cut them, but don’t consider replanting “he said.
What is Mr. Diémé’s mission?
The name of Mr. Diémé’s project is Ununukolaal, which translates to “Our Trees” in the native Jola tongue Palms, tamarind, kapok, and lemon trees are just a few of the up to 12 types being planted; the variety chosen depends on the topography and the needs of the locals. More than 142,000 seedlings have been nurtured and established over the past three years.
If Mr. Diémé is to achieve his aim within the next five years, it implies that an incredible amount of planting still needs to be done. Despite this, he and his companion Yolanda Pereiguez are unfazed.
What is the true value of this project?
The actual worth of the undertaking became clear as we traveled deeper into Casamance in a dug-out canoe that was also made from a single piece of wood cut from kapok tree roots.
When the water levels were lower ten years ago, the village would barely ever be reached by the water’s edge unless during the wettest months. Currently, the situation is hopeless, and if it worsens, the residents may become homeless.
Conakry Bassene, one of the village elders, stated, “We have lived on this island for hundreds of years, but if the water rises much farther, we will have to leave and be spread all over the country.” Currently, baobab trees have been planted as a barrier along the shoreline since they can survive on land and in both saltwater and freshwater. The young trees sway in the wind with the promise of fruits and even shade one day. The trees are our only hope for survival, said Mr. Bassene.
Why does Mr. Diémé want to work with women?
He has been putting a lot of effort into connecting with local communities and reaching out to women since he thought they would be up to the task of planning the massive planting of seedlings. When you enter a community and there are no women, Mr. Diémé stated, “It’s a disaster.” But if you visit a town where there are only women, it’s nirvana because they are diligent workers who put in long hours every day. Start with women if you want to lead a solid project, Mr. Diémé continued. He has combined his love of planting trees with his enthusiasm for empowering women to become small-scale farmers and sell their food at neighborhood markets.
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