Greenpop has just concluded the 2nd Trees for Zambia Action Event in Livingstone. Thousands of trees have been planted, solar cookers made, eco education workshops held, live music concerts for trees hosted and much more.
3358 trees were planted in total between 7th & 28th July 2013. 16 schools, 1 women’s group, 1 church & 1 small community farm participated in a fun-filled day of tree planting, education, seed propagation and solar cooking demonstrations. Also, 3 educational tree-focused wall murals were facilitated by Viv Connel with the children coming up with the pictures, words and design themselves.
20 handmade solar cookers were made out of recycled materials during the 3 weeks (with each school group) to demonstrate that almost everything needed to make a working solar cooker can be found and thus it is one of the cheapest, safest and most resource-efficient methods of cooking, particularly in Zambia which has a high number of sunny days per year. And 2 Eco workshops were held for local schools’ eco-club participants to foster eco-education through engagement, action, creation and fun! This reflected an ongoing initiative between local schools eco-clubs and Greenpop. The 100 school children who attended were the winning groups from the a solar cooking project Greenpop has been running with Uncle Benji (Greenpop Zambia’s Director of Trees) and Julia Taylor (Greenpop’s project coordinator for the past 5 months) since March 2013 with the schools we planted at last year.
Also, 3 speaker evenings were held each Thursday during the project to educate and inspire. Evelyn Roe, a botanical researcher joined us from Bovu Island, an island on the Zambezi to share her research on the sustainable harvesting of wild plants used for medicine and David Youldon, CEO of African Lion & Environmental Research Trust spoke about the ALERT project and the value of trees for lions in Africa. There were video links from an impressive array of speakers including Wanjira Mathai, Director of the Green Belt Movement, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, director general of TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), Environmental youth activist, Tribute Jabulile Mboweni, Mr. Victor Chiiba of the Zambian Forestry Department joined us for the second speaker evening of the action conference, speaking on the main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Zambia and what measures the government are taking to alleviate these issues. Crosby Menzies of Sunfire Solutions lent his experience of being at the helm of Southern Africa’s longest standing solar cooker company to the discussion on clean energy. Elizabeth Musonda joined us from Lusaka to share her passion for sustaining our environment through the use of clean energy and presented her homemade efficient energy cookstoves. Climate change-maker and sustainability enthusiast, Anna Shevel, joined us in Week 3 to talk about Green Travel. Sustainability pioneer, Josh Ramsey, spoke to the attendees about his environmental endeavour ‘Sail, Cycle, Trek’ and the need to protect our forests on a global scale. Elias and Precious from the African Centre Holistic Management in Zimbabwe joined us to talk about their holistic methods of managing land and Nathan Daniel from Culture Talent talked to us about a climate conference he attended.
In true Greenpop style, a hard week of planting culminated in a live music celebration. Planters and community members shook loose their planting aches on Friday evenings to the tunes of Tribs Mboweni, Flint, Meet Spark, Mabel Zulu, Yes Rasta, Pat McCay, Jeremy Loops and Co., Blacklight Panda and DJ BobzYourUncle. At the end of Week 2, Greenpop brought a fusion celebration of eco-awareness and music to Livingstone by way of their Earthfest. Earthfest was a two-day festival, where on day-one we all jumped aboard the Victoria Falls Steam Train after a day of planting indigenous trees at the Mighty Falls. We kicked off day two with a morning of eco workshops and stalls at the Greenpop Village and as the sun set the music started, with musicians Tanga Pasi, Chicken Bus Band, Yes Rasta, Jeremy Loops and Co., Pat McCay and Blacklight Panda taking to the stage.
“We need to teach children about trees, it’s also urgent that they bring the knowledge back to their families.” Head teacher of Wilson Basic School, Livingstone Zambia
“Plant a tree, and you plant life!” Mr. Himwita, teacher from St. Mary’s Secondary School, Livingstone
Photos by Sarah Isaaces. (c) 2013.