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New Climate Fund project ready to start! Fruit trees for Senegalese villages

The north of Senegal, like all rural regions of the Sahel, is particularly affected by climate change: the weather is becoming more and more extreme, droughts are increasing and leading to crop failures, and in the rainy season – as in the last two months – heavy rains lead to dramatic flooding because the dried-out soils cannot absorb the water masses that accumulate within a very short time. The situation is worsened by the clearing of trees and forests for firewood and the creation of arable and pasture land. This is a vicious circle which leads to the destruction of the population's livelihood and, as a result, to increasing poverty and emigration.

The corona pandemic poses an additional existential threat to the rural population. In addition to the immediate health threat, the already very precarious economic and thus food situation is now being further exacerbated.

By planting trees, an important step can be taken to stop this downward spiral. As a recently published international study shows, forests and trees make a significant contribution to fair and sustainable poverty reduction. They are particularly vital for the poorest people in rural areas – whether it be to provide a food base, to obtain raw materials or as protection against natural hazards.

The new Climate Fund project of Naturefriends Senegal is therefore starting just at the right time! The planting of at least 2,000 fruit trees is intended to give new hope and perspectives to the people in four villages in the two regions Louga and Saint Louis in the north of Senegal. The project team will visit the villages even before the actual planting and will inform the people about the importance of trees for stabilizing the soil, improving the climate and as a future source of valuable fruit for their own consumption and for sale. And even after the plantations, the project team will continue to look after the villages and support the people in caring for the trees.

About 9,000 euros are needed for the successful implementation of the project. 30 euros will enable the planting and care of five fruit trees and the accompanying awareness raising measures – an important contribution to climate protection and an equally important sign of international solidarity!

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More about the role of trees in poverty reduction:
Report: “Forests, trees and the eradication of poverty: potential and limitations”