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Africa is losing in excess of 34 million hectares of forest, each decade.
The loss of woodland is part of a global crisis that is accelerating climate change. But in Africa, the causes are different. While commercial tree felling and forest fires are the main causes of deforestation worldwide, in Africa, a majority of trees are lost because households need fuel wood for their cooking and heating needs.
In the arid and semi-arid regions of West Africa on southern edge of the vast Sahara, deforestation takes on added importance as trees and their root systems play a vital defensive role in protecting the land here against soil erosion and the increasing encroachment of the desert.
Togolese farmer Yendoukoa Assibi is playing a small but essential role in educating her community about the dangers of deforestation. She has her own domestic woodlot, and is a member of a local womens’ group that promote tree nursery planting.
They have also been trained in making more fuel efficient eco-stoves that require far less wood as fuel. So, as well as growing trees, they are helping to reduce the rate at which trees are disappearing from the land.
Every year the farming communities Self Help Africa works with plant trees on African land. They do this because it provides them with food, fuel, fertiliser and fodder for their animals. It helps to restore depleted soils, and it shelters fields from the effects of the baking heat, and sometimes the effects of flooding.
Earlier this year, Self Help Africa began working with rural communities in Ethiopia to plant 300,000 tree seedlings on degraded farmlands around Lake Ziway. The tree varieties chosen because they can put nitrogen back in depleted soils, and also provide ‘cut and carry’ fodder for livestock. Self Help Africa’s team is also training farmer groups in the care and maintenance of the seedlings, to ensure that they are grown to maturity.
Tree planting also plays a huge part in removing dangerous carbon dioxide – the main cause of global warming – from the atmosphere, all over the world.
Families in Africa need your help today, so that they can cope with, and fight the effects of global warming.
Please support our tree planting work in Africa. Your generosity will make a lasting difference to the lives of rural African families, and to our planet.
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