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Pemba Update

by Community Forests International on March 31, 2010

Hello again from Pemba! Updates are becoming few and far between, but rest assured that can only mean we’re working overtime here on the ground. Fortunately for us Genki Kondo, another volunteer with experience tree-planting across Canada, is here with us now assisting with the project.

Estelle and the Baobab 

As mentioned in the previous post,we have been working with the community of Uwandani recently. We have identified some measuring and planting techniques specifically suited to the help the 60 students who will be planting trees there. To our delight, the site at Uwandani was full of old Baobab trees, providing soil stabilization and sun/wind protection for the new seedlings.

measuring Uwandani 

Uwandani 

Last weekend we arranged an expedition to Ngezi Forest, Pemba’s ecological centre. Our goal (other than to explore the indigenous tropical forest) was to locate specific varieties of trees we had identified as species we wanted to add to our nurseries. This was informed by Daimen’s research and local investigations, trying to find nitrogen fixing alternatives to a particularly harmful species of Acacia, as well as varieties of long lived, high quality hardwoods like Mtondo (Mahogany) and Mbamba Kofi (huge trees used for boat building) that could increase the species diversity in our nurseries. We arranged a meeting with a guide and forests ranger and spent the day hiking and collecting seeds from different species that we came across. We logged all the data in the GPS for future seed sources, and marked those species not currently producing seed with the proper name and fruiting season. The Mahogany that were collected had been deposited in certain areas by the Pemban Flying Fox, an endemic species of giant bat that is essential in spreading specific seeds through the forest.

Big tree, Ngezi 

Ngezi Forest, Mushrooms

Ngezi Forest, exposed roots 

For those of you interested in the latest pot press updates I have included some photographs of its construction. We are nearing completion; however, due to the lack of a few specialized tools, we have been delayed in its completion. If all goes well we will be sending you photos of it in operation in community workshops throughout Pemba soon. Inshallah!

press building 

Daimen and the press 

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