It was during my field at Babati district in Manyara region. The objective of the trip was to study and learn about environmental conservation in the region. I visited three villages; Halla, Ayasanda and Haraa.
When I was in Halla village I met an old man known as Mr. Joachim John, who was born in 1937 in southern part of Tanzania. Mr. Joachim started to preserve the environment in 1985 in Halla village. During that time, environmental destruction was high, that’s why Mr. Joachim decided to ask the local government to give himland as an individual for private ownership.
The local government gave him the land and started to plant trees on one half of the land and the other half for agriculture. On the agricultural land he practices mixed farming where he cultivates the food crops like maize, banana, orange trees, coffee and animals husbandry.
As the part of preserving the environment, he has been able to preserve the water source which serves the four villages around Halla and control the soil erosion which was the biggest problem in the area. The areas he conserved now has wild animals such as monkeys and different kinds of birds which make the area attractive.
Mr. Joachim rehabilitated this area in collaboration with his family. He has been awarded a certificate of appreciation at the local level which motivates him to continue conserving the environment.
However on key question stands out; “is conserving the environment is only to be done by Mr. Joachim in Halaa district? Definitely the not; It is the responsibility of every one in the community to preserve our environment. The community should work in partnership with the government to preserve the environment.
Written by Mohamed Mbinga-YET-2011