Namatsale: People’s livelihoods changing
Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE) working with our implementing partner Bungokho Rural Development Centre (BRDC),established a nursery site 10 years ago in Namatsale Village, Mbale District.
This is a community with about 2,500 households, is now able to live happily and life is back again to the once dry village which had no homes 20 years ago.
“Thanks to the tree planting programme. We are now receiving rainfall and this is attributed to the presence of the nursery bed where the community is picking trees and planting. At least every household you see in Namatsale has planted a tree,” Mr Micheal Masaba the nursery operator Namatsale says.
“Life was very difficult when the village was bare with no trees at all,” Mr Masaba says while pointing to a bear hill which is just above their village which is gaining its green cover because people are planting trees.
Namatsale as a village used to experience long dry spells and these are now becoming a myth. We can proudly attribute this to our efforts of mobilizing more community members to plant a tree at least every household,” Mr Masaba says.
He adds: “The trees have brought life to us. We realized that it is important to plant fruit trees. Here we can pick fruits like jackfruit, mangoes and guavas and share with families thus improving nutrition albeit earning some money after selling some fruits. Fruit tree seedlings are also distributed too at the nursery”.
A community facilitator from Namatsale community stands infront of the community nursery.
Namatsale Primary School, located a few metres from the nursery, is a great a beneficiary of the tree planting programme. The school has planted about 100 trees around the school fence.
According to Mr Rajab Wanda the Deputy Head Teacher, the trees provide shade to learners. They can rest during breaks to have a meal comfortably as well providing fresh air.
In addition, the project staff were able to construct a Lorena energy saving stove for the school.
The constructed water source serving Namatsale community.
This is Namatsale Primary School, the trees seen in the photo planted in the school compound where picked from Namatsale nursery.
“As a school the issue of buying firewood to cook food for about 70 pupils was a challenge. But this stove is wood efficient. We use less firewood and this is now manageable,” says Mr Wanda.
“We want to thank the project, for the water especially during the dry period. The project has extended clean and safe water, which the school can also use to prepare meals for the pupils. Originally we used to draw water from open springs and it was not filtered and unhygienic but this is what was available. Since the water source was constructed we no longer consume unsafe water,” Mr Wanda says.