Planting New Trees in Zambia
I recently received a letter from Fr. Emmanuel Mambwe, a Missionary of Africa priest who lives and works in Serenje, Zambia, in southern Africa. There, he’s working to not only help provide better lives for some of the more than 13,000 people in his parish, but also a better future for their children as well.
“Each year, more than 1,000 acres of trees are being destroyed in Zambia – deforested,” Fr. Emmanuel wrote. “For the most part, trees are being cut down and burned by those who want to create charcoal which they then sell. But there is no reclamation or ‘reforestation’ occurring.”
“Trees are important to the water cycle,” Fr. Emmanuel explained. “They absorb rain fall and produce water vapor that is released into the atmosphere. Trees also lessen the pollution in water by stopping polluted runoff. Without trees, the already tenuous water supply in many of our communities will become even more endangered. That is why the people of Serenje need help!”
“Our hope is to plant new trees to help stave off the disaster that is threatening those who call this region home . . . not only now, but for their children as well,” he continued. “The local people are already coming together to plant whatever new trees we can get – as well as preparing the soil and creating a fire break should any fires threaten those trees we have planted. But this is a very poor community – and most people live on less than a dollar a day. They simply do not have enough funds to purchase all the trees that are needed. Planting trees will help protect their water supply, their way of life – even their homes. Is there anything you can do to help us?”