By Sharon Atieno
In a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change, land degradation and over-exploitation which are causing temperatures to rise, Justdiggit -a land restoration movement -is moving across Africa and restoring dry areas.
In Kenya, the Netherlands-based movement working together with local partners have dug 72,000 water bunds to collect rain water, thus increasing water infiltration and preventing soil erosion making dry land green again. This has in turn resulted in the re-greening of 800 hectares of land.
They have also designed and implemented grass seed banks which are managed by the local Maasai women. The women harvest seeds and grasses which generate their income while restoring the landscape. After community women groups have gained experience in managing their own grass seed bank, they exchange the knowledge with other women groups. In addition, they receive training in seeding, harvesting and general business and marketing skills
In central Tanzania, through using the farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR) method and re-introducing rainwater harvesting practices, Justdiggit aims to restore soils, re-green the area and improve the land productivity. They visited villages in rural areas with a movie roadshow which triggered communities to take action on landscape restoration.
Together with Lead foundation, they educated over 1,000 Tanzanian farmers to restore degraded land by themselves. To raise awareness and to create grassroots movement, they ran sponsored advertising and media campaigns throughout the country. Through this project, the Justdiggit movement will reach out to 300 communities in the Dodoma region thus, helping 194,400 households.
Justdiggit recently developed an innovative mobile app through which farmers get paid for restoring their land by people across the globe who want to fund landscape restoration.
In 2020, the movement wants to empower farmers and bring their restoration stories to the world through the introduction of rain-dance concerts. These concerts will feature global and local artists performing at iconic landmarks throughout Africa especially in rural areas that can be restored.
The Justdiggit movement and Havas Africa Kenya will be hosting a media gathering in Nairobi to share developments in landscape restoration in Kenya and Tanzania.(Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.justdiggit.org)