Making a Difference
The current deforestation rate in Tanzania is approaching 373,000 hectares per year, making it among the highest in East Africa.
TOBFC believes we need to find solutions that can increase the standard of living in rural communities while preserving and revitalizing the environment.
Some of our current and future projects include:
Planting fruit trees/gardens at the Olive Branch Montessori Academy
Starting a fruit orchard at the Peace Home
Planting water retaining trees around the wells we have built
Planting fruit trees in public spaces in our catchment area and at our Montessori Classrooms
Starting community seed banks
“According to recent national statistics, Tanzania is losing an estimated 469,000 hectares of forest per year – a 25% increase from three years ago. In addition, the 2015 National Forest Monitoring and Assessment (NAFORMA) placed national annual wood deficit at 31% (19.5 million m3). These statistics show that the country’s forests are continually under pressure to fulfill both domestic and international demand, which far outstrip supply. Meanwhile, land degradation in Tanzania has increased to 50% today, from 42% in the 1980’s. A recent assessment report by the Vice President’s office estimates that about 13% (125,000 km2) of Tanzania’s land mass is affected by land degradation due to poor farming practices, deforestation, overgrazing, loss of vegetation cover, soil erosion, soil pollution, and loss of biodiversity.” (WWF, 2018)
In 2019, we started our first pilot test for our Better Fuel Stove Project. This project gifts gas stoves to vulnerable people to encourage a switch from burning wood, charcoal and coal. Our pilot showed that the use of gas for cooking not only saves women a tremendous amount of time, reduces the instances of cataracts and chronic pulmonary disorder cases, but is also be more affordable. We will be expanding this project to reach more vulnerable people, and facilitate the accessibility of natural gas stoves to ensure the gap is closed between rural and urban populations.
Our Better Fuels program includes our bamboo briquettes project, transforming the bamboo waste from our Kubuni Centre into briquettes. These briquettes burn cleaner and do not contribute to mass deforestation.
water is life
TOBFC has completed 14 wells in remote communities.
Each well project is sponsored by a one of our amazing partners including the Walker Foundation and the Montessori School of Kleinburg, Muskaan, and Bees, Trees and Water.
The wells have positively changed the lives of over 20,000 people!
rain water catchment systems
The Olive Branch for Children has constructed over 17 Early Childhood Montessori Classrooms. Our hope is to provide each school, with a water catchment system that collects rain water during the rainy seasons, and provides safe water throughout the dry season to community members. The school roofs are guttered, and all rain water is funneled into three 5000 litre tanks. One of these tanks has a facet, which provides
community members with access to the water. TOBFC has constructed two water catchment systems.
Through our other operating programs, TOBFC has identified and selected the most vulnerable members of the community to participate in our beekeeping project. This project targets women-headed households, including but not limited to, single mothers, older women caring for their grandchildren, women with no farmland, and youth who have not finished secondary school with no farm land. Individuals will learn how to care for, and harvest honey and wax from the beehives. Each member will be required to provide a
percentage of beeswax or honey to the Olive Branch for Children for a period of time as a ‘payment’, which will be use for Kubuni Centre products for sale, profits will be reinvested into the program. After the selected period, the women will own their beehives and opperate their honey business, with the help of TOBFC.
Participants are gifted beehives, and are provided with intensive training, and all materials necessary to keep bees. Each member are required to attend 10 seminars, 5 on beekeeping techniques, marketing, environmental issues, basic financial literacy, efficient business techniques, and savings and household financial management. This ensures that all members will receive a vast set of skills that can ensure their success.