When my family settled here approximately 30 years ago there were many trees. Something like every two to four metres you will find a tree - there and there and there (pointing). Now you can see the distance between trees is almost like 100m. You can even walk sometimes without seeing big trees. The trees left are not good for charcoal. Not good for timber. They are left for these reasons.
Deforestation causes soil erosion as roots hold together the most productive top and sub-surface layers. Where trees are absent, rain washes soil away or it is blown away during hot windy weather. Accentuated by changes in weather patterns driven by climate change, the negative consequences of deforestation are increasingly prevalent within Rhino Camp.
The underlying reasons for deforestation are not easily solved. Wood is a necessity in the area, needed for building materials and fuel. Reliance on locally felled timber, combined with rapid population growth in the area has resulted in rapid deforestation in the last 30 years.
In response to the conversations, observations and evidence compiled through the photographs and interviews it was suggested by participants that their community could benefit from the creation of a tree nursery for locals to replant trees lost in the last 30 years.
These big trees that have already been cut down have caused the difference. The big trees can stop the winds that carry some of the soil away. Sometimes when there is heavy rain the trees can stop this.
My comment about the environment is that people should plant more trees. So they avoid bush burning and settling in swamp areas. They should also participate in cultural activities like our grandparents did. Things like tools could also be provided for the people. Even if people bring new fuel to rural areas it would avoid the use of charcoal.
The trees are the places where people gather and discuss issues related to their culture. But since those trees are gone, they don't have any shade to discuss their issues. And then the second issue is that there is a belief that when people die their spirits come and rest under those big trees. So where those tress are felled the spirits are dispersed and they they go into the wilderness making there to be no rain and suffering.
If there could be rules and regulations in regards to bush burning and tree cutting this would be good. Because at the moment people are continuing to cut trees. The other issue is that if seedlings could be provided to people as to replace what is already gone.
Continue reading: Click on the link to learn about desired outcomes of the project in the action section