Since 2007, Kangaba, in partnership with Campement, has invested in creating a 20 hectare wooded park on the edge of Bamoka. Inside the park, there are many different ecological projects: Gueni tree planting, an organic vegetable garden, beekeeping, waste sorting and recycling.
The impact of our efforts is evident in the rising number of Bamako residents that come to the park and the educational visits that we organise for schools.
The park boundaries were set in 2007 in agreement with the head of the village. He inaugurated the park by planting the first tree, a Gueni plane tree from our tree nursery. Since 2008 we have planted more than 2000 trees that have been prepared in our nursery. You can see from the Google Earth image taken in 2016 that the colour green is coming back within the park.
It is with thousands of little things that we change the world.
· Planting 1000 Gueni trees: this is a very long-term investment which can serve as an example: we will be able to work with wood from our plantation in 20 to 30 years.
· The drip watering system has been very economical in terms of water and very effective during the first few years.
· Organic vegetable garden: a step towards real food sovereignty. It has taken three years for us to see results and be able to balance the books. We have shown that it is possible for a single grower to live from his work if he takes the time to enrich the soil. Because in Bamako there is demand for organic, and that demand is growing quickly.
· Waste sorting and recycling: there is no official rubbish collection or tip in Bamako. Everyone gives their waste to private collectors who dispose of it where they can (often just around the corner). Sorting waste into glass, metal, hard plastic and flexible plastic is made profitable by recycling or resale. We can earn money by sorting our waste! The challenge is to convince our neighbours to do the same….
If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant a tree; if you are planning for 100 years, educate man. (Chinese proverb)
Indeed, undertaking ecological projects is good, but sharing them with your neighbours and having them adopted by your neighbours is even better.
We organise free visits for Bamako schools to show them our work. We work with the school in the neighbouring village undertaking reforestation days (Photo 1 shows the planting of a Cailcedrat tree in the school playground). No better way of encouraging future nature lovers than planting a tree with your own hands and passing by it every morning!
Families from Bamako come to visit the park and its vegetable gardens, to look at the explanatory signs, to learn from our team about the problems we encounter and the solutions we find.