Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe:City of Kadoma Mitigating climate change through tree planting

Date: July 17, 2018
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The project focused on the City of Kadoma’s support and implementation programmes in conservation of natural resources in order to beautify and drive towards the Green Cities concept. City of Kadoma found it prudent to raise climate change action through tree planting throughout the year. The council targeted major events and conferences/workshops, national tree planting days, school programmes and gatherings where they challenged participants to plant “Trees of Memory”. The report highlighted that such major events would have at least five trees planted.

City of Kadoma worked in conjunction with Forestry Commission, Environment Africa, and Kadoma Community Capacity Centre in encouraging development initiatives in natural resources conservation and management for the primary benefit of women and children. That was done with particular emphasis on capacity building. That was a good practice as it contributed to mitigating the effects of climate changes at a local level.

The project set out to act locally in mitigating climate change. Local climate change mitigation was done through promoting awareness and encouraging tree planting by at least one member of every participating group in any event. The project also acted as an initiative to beautify the City and conserving the environment. In killing two birds with one stone, there would be a creation of green belts within the City of Kadoma.

According to the Housing Manual of Procedures only personnel authorized by the City shall plant, trim, prune or remove any part of the trees or shrubs in and around the city. Therefore, the project embarked on promoting tree planting events. The participants applied legal information contained in the Council’s Housing Manual of Procedures on tree planting. The engagement of Environment Africa, Forestry Commission and Environmental Management Agency (EMA) was of high priority. Different organizations, forums and groups were invited to plant different tree species at different occasions. A contract was put to tender and the best company registered with Housing and Community Services Department was duly given the task to manage the planted different tree species.

There were 117 (36%) direct women beneficiaries and 205 (63%) direct men beneficiaries from the project making it a total of 322 direct beneficiaries. Total number of indirect beneficiaries was 99 263 people made up by 51 610 (52%) women and 47653 (48%) men. There were no online beneficiaries. The total number of women was 51 727 (52%) as compared to 47 858 (48%) men. The sum of all beneficiaries whether direct or indirect was 99 585.
The project had a gender specific budget allocation of $1 000 and $3 000 allocated to gender in mainstream projects. The partners which included Environment Africa, Forestry Commission and EMA contributed$4 200 in cash and kind which including the expertise. A total of $8 200 was allocated towards the project.

A physical check could determine if the project was a success or not. Physical counting of surviving trees from the planted trees would easily tell how successful the project was. A follow-up (investigation) on how and why some of the planted trees did not make it can rectify the challenge in future. There was monthly assessment forms and regular interaction with the company monitoring the watering, pruning and general maintenance of the planted trees. The involvement of the community (school children included) made the ownership and capacity building of the project effective.

The inconsistent water supply by municipality was a blow to the project. However, some water bowsers were regularly to water the planted trees. Some drought resistant trees were identified and were the planted. Some stray animals also caused some challenges to the planted trees. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals became very handy as they helped a lot in that regard. The vendors in the city also helped a lot in protecting the planted trees from being destroyed as they would be watchful of them. The local authority helped the project to be a success by acquiring mesh wire to fence the planted trees. Some termites were a challenge but it was overcome by some pesticides which were used. A selection and identification of indigenous trees suitable for the soils also worked positively for the project to be a success.

Individuals planted trees at their properties. That was noted by a growing number of people visiting the Environment of Africa and Kadoma City Council nurseries requesting for trees and shrubs. They also asked for assistance in planting the trees or shrubs. They had noted that indigenous trees could also be planted just like the exotic trees. The realised that the indigenous trees easily suited the environment despite some drought spells which could be faced. It was not only the duty of men to plant and manage trees but anyone could do it.

Juliana Chigariro excitedly said, “At first I thought that all the trees being planted by the Council belonged to it but I later realised that it’s me who is responsible for managing and maintaining a green environment. Even if I am not a council employee or a Central Business Office member, community ownership is the answer.” Kadoma City Council mobilized all Housing Directors from different local authorities in the country to plant a tree in Kadoma City at Milton Park after a conference. Each tree was named after the local authority. The different Housing Directors in attendance promised to carry out the same programmes in their areas.

The project can be replicated fairly easily. Community participation and involvement was the root to sustainable development. The local authority largely sustained and improved the tree planting programme by continuously engaging social groups, various organizations and schools. Replacement of dead and vandalized trees and continuously watering them kept them thriving. Continuous provision of small incentives such as T shirts, caps and hats to participants in the management of trees encouraged them to be active in tree management. Cascading the program to household level also increased the number of trees planted. The project saw the involvement of private companies and government departments supporting the initiative as well. Council increased its target from 1 400 trees a year to double the number.

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