About a month ago, just before the rainy season, we visited our reforestation project in Burkina Faso.
Our local partner, Hommes et Terre, is pioneering a radically inclusive approach to tree-planting. The villagers elect a “strategic committee” and a "village cell” that are involved in every step of reforesting their home.
Some villagers had travelled for three days to meet us in the capital, Ouagadougou, and discuss the future of their reforestation project.
We also got to know seven village chiefs, who play a key part in mobilising their communities.
Thanks to your searches, and thanks to the villagers’ know-how, over four million trees have already been planted in Burkina Faso.
Early next day, we travelled to one of our planting sites south of Ouagadougou. When we arrived, the entire village was digging seedbeds, despite the fierce heat. The half-moon-shaped seedbeds allow the seeds to sprout by preventing the rain from running off.
Not all of the seedbeds are dug by hand. In some areas, a tractor is used.
We discovered that a combination of both methods works best. Mechanical labor is fast. But manual labor can be applied in areas that are difficult to reach and provides people with a salary during the dry season.
That day, the 45ºC degree heat reminded us that, for those living in the Sahel region of Burkina Faso, shade trees aren’t a luxury: they’re necessary.
Thank you for fighting desertification with your searches. Thank you for improving soil fertility and water availability in the driest regions of Burkina Faso. Thank you, Ecosians, for the trees – and for the hope they give us.