The world's environment is at great risk today compared to some years ago. Human beings are witness of drying rivers, the raising of the sea level, increasing of heat and frequent occurrence of natural hazards; all these are caused by various Human activities. However, many people are still conducting their activities without environmental conscious, few individuals and groups of people haven emerged as environmental Heroes, among them are Mzee Joachim and Haraa villagers.
Mzee Joachim owns a big private forest which has both the planted and
Natural forest. Apart from the direct benefits he earns from selling firewood, timbers and logs, payment from visitors who come for learning purposes, he has helped the Villagers get water which has been taped by BAWASA[Babati Water Supply Authority] .On the other hand, the Village get rainfall and good climatic condition generated from Joachim’s forest.
The forest is the home of beautiful birds, Moneys, and Python,’ When I and other fellow YETs visited Mzee Joachim’s forest during afternoon hours, near the water catchment I smelt ‘Pilau’s smell’’. Mr. Joachim informed the YETs that it is believed that Python’s smell is like “Pilau’s smell” or rice during afternoon hours.
Unlike, Mzee Joachim who has got the private forest, Haraa villagers have got the ‘Community owned forest’. The village has the forest committee which ensures effective conservation of the forest. The environmental committee chairperson informed YETs that, before community participation in forest conservation the situation was worse, as the villagers were cutting down trees, but after community participation, the forest has been saved from deforestation and they are now benefiting from it by earning income through selling grasses for roofing and domestic animals, timbers, visitors and researchers who visit the forest for learning purposes, collecting fines paid by criminals.
The income generated by the Heroes is contributing to various social developments like school and Hospital, also payments to guards. The environmental Heroes have made their bylaws which govern them on how to use and protect their recourses without endangering the ecosystem. Therefore other individuals and communities are called to learn from Mzee Joachim and Haraa villagers, hence replicate similar projects for planting trees and conserving environment for sustainable development.
Peter John- YET 2011