When we visited your trees in Kenya, we saw how protecting forests means the rivers keep flowing, safeguarding access to clean water for millions of people across the African continent. Together with The Green Belt Movement, we are planting trees around 'water towers' – mountains that collect rainwater for the rivers that flow all the way from Kenya to Egypt.
Without trees, rainwater runs off too quickly, eroding fertile soil and creating mud streams that contaminates the water sources on which so many communities depend. Trees ensure rainwater is better absorbed by the soil, and allows it to pass slowly through deeper soil layers. The result? Crystal clear streams for drinking, cooking and bathing. And it all starts with a tiny sapling, and a search.
The Green Belt Movement was founded in 1977 by Wangari Maathai, a prominent environmental activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her reforestation efforts. She was a pioneer who understood that women need forests for survival, and is now revered as a hero among the farmers we met. In Kenya we want to continue her legacy by extending the tree nurseries she started. So far we have planted 800,000 trees in protective 'buffer zones' around the watershed areas of Cherangany, Mount Elgon and Mau Complex. Thank you Ecosians, and please keep searching so we can continue to change lives in Kenya.