We work hard to ensure the materials we use are sustainably and responsibly sourced, as it is important to us to minimise our environmental footprint. As part of our commitment, Worktop Express have supported the International Tree Foundation and have provided funding for a number of projects throughout the UK and Africa over the last few years. We recently posted updates for COMAID and VEFO projects, and this month we will be looking at how the support we have provided is being used in the Masaka District of South West Uganda.
This project started with ITF and the Masaka District Landcare Chapter (MADLACC) in August 2016, and involves 500 families, two primary schools and a farming group, ensuring that a large number of people in the local community will be positively impacted. The key aims of the MADLACC project are:
- Increase farmers’ income from agroforestry practices
- Increase the productivity of farmlands
- Empower communities and teach the people in them how to plant trees
These aims will be achieved though the plan to plant 25,500 trees.
The ‘Landcare’ approach is an international movement started in Australia and focuses on combining production and conservation with local planning and ownership, so that all within the communities can benefit from their efforts. Education plays an important part in this, as it has allowed farmers to adopt agroforestry practices, which previously would not have been widely known in the local area. By planting fodder and fruit trees alongside crops, they have been able to develop ‘multi-storey’ farming which increases the surface mulch to improve soil quality, as well as the health of dairy cows and goats.
ITF have been working alongside MADLACC since 2014 and are pleased to report thatduring a visit in April 2016 positive improvements were already seen to have been made in terms of engaging and empowering local people.