Let’s all go Green Before all Green Goes

Let’s all go Green Before all Green Goes

My name is Mary Wanjiku, a Rover Scout aged 27 years from the Sparrow Rover crew in Nyandarua County. Being listed as one of the Top 100 young African conservationists brought me great joy. I felt that my purpose and passion to green the earth had a meaningful impact. This recognition acts as a catalyst to widen my work scope, accelerate my efforts to educate people about conservation, and support fellow Scouts and youth who want to initiate conservation projects.

The Brown Olive project for community livelihoods and environmental conservation started in April 2017. We aim to curb climate change and global warming by increasing the forest cover of the indigenous tree species which has been proven to have hundreds of advantages to both the communities and their surroundings (natural resources flora and fauna). Our main target is the farmers who cut down trees for agricultural activities, causing land degradation and soil erosion.

We focus on central Kenya where farming is the major economic activity that the residents depend on for a living. These agricultural activities have led to natural habitat destruction that houses thousands of fauna (micro and macro-organisms). The Brown Olive (Olea Africanus) has been proven to co-exist well with the crops and livestock without causing any negative impacts on natural resources especially the water bodies. Also, it helps improve soil fertility resulting in more yields. It’s a habitat for birds and insects, the twigs are palatable by the goats and cows and the attractive scented flowers attract pollinators and thus harmonizing the interdependence of organisms in a unified ecosystem. We do this to prove to the community that they can practice and promote agroforestry however small their land size is.

The demand for the seedlings has grown in Nyandarua county, and the farmers continue to recommend the tree to other farmers. In 2021, we have planted 414 Olea seedlings individually, 203 with institutions and 88 seedlings donated to the community. We organize sessions with pupils/students, community-based organizations, and other members of the society to teach them new farming methods. From this, they gain new skills and techniques to practice in their agricultural activities and receive 2 or 3 seedlings after every session. Through these sessions, we have seen more young people engaging themselves in farming and setting aside portions of land for tree nurseries.

Seeing the increase in the indigenous forest cover in my village is one thing that excites my team. We hope to widen the project scope to the greater central region later in 2021. We regularly visit farmers who have received the seedlings to see how they are implementing the learnings and also to look at the progress of the brown olive tree.

I plead with the community to embrace conservation and think of it whenever they are practicing their day-to-day activities. My wish is to see well-protected earth, with no pollution and harmful carbon emissions – a clean and green planet. I believe that planting and nurturing indigenous trees will play a great role in conserving mother nature. We plan to hit a target of 3,000 brown olive trees by 2022 and have at least five counties in Kenya adopting the Brown Olive project

My encouragement to the young people, in everything they do, is to have an objective on who their work will benefit. Your efforts should offer solutions to the problems the world is facing. Remember just like a hummingbird, small efforts bear great impacts. We don’t have a planet B, so let us conserve and treasure what we have.

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