Many humans prefer to live in a place close to markets for food, easy access to hospitals when we are sick, and close to banks for money, along with other commodities that we need. We tend to forget a very crucial and natural free gift from God that gives us life.
Trees are often recognized as the ‘lungs of the world’ because they make oxygen from carbon dioxide. However, this is an understatement. If we think along the same line, trees are also the kidneys of the world as they regulate the flow and use of water by intercepting rain and releasing it slowly to the ground where it can either run off into rivers, or enter the groundwater. Other plants can then absorb it for use in photosynthesis. This absorbed water is then transpired back to the atmosphere and blown on the wind until it falls as rain somewhere else.
Our bodies need lungs to be healthy and strong. Look at the work of your lungs, our lungs perform a great job, they give life. A breathing person is alive, and the air to breathe comes directly from trees. Whatever we do to a tree, we are doing to our lungs. When we cut down trees it is like slicing your own lung. Trees help reduce air pollution both by directly removing pollutants and by reducing air temperatures.
Amara involves communities and school children to ensure we protect/conserve the trees that are left for us, and restore those that were destroyed. We are doing this through education, tree planting activities, and tree nursery management training; where we train kids how to establish their own tree nurseries. We encourage the kids to be the champions of this project in school and at home, because conservation needs EVERYONE.
No Trees No Oxygen, No Oxygen No Breathing, No Breathing No Life.
A few weeks ago, the world’s last male Northern White Rhino, Sudan, died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. With Northern Whites preyed upon to near-extinction, Sudan’s death left just two known alive — Najin and Fatu, his daughter and granddaughter. The news, greeted with unsurprising sadness in the conservation world, played out differently in Africa.
The new standard gauge railway
Following the comments on social media, there was a sense of mortification; that something horrible had happened. His death is not only partly a dramatic failure by governments to protect critical nature, but also the first time that we the young generation have seen an extinction in our lifetime, not as a story but something real. In years to come, an ordinary African may need to travel to see elephants or rhinos in zoos or sanctuaries outside Africa, rather than in parks close to them like Nairobi National Park. The park is an important sanctuary. Kenya prides in it being the only national park in a capital city. It has supplied black rhinos to re-stock more than half the rhino sanctuaries in Kenya
Giraffes in the park
The Tsavo Conservation Area is timeless. It is one of Kenya’s most stunning National Parks, unrivalled in its diversity of landscapes and wildlife. It is home to more than 12,000 elephants, the largest population in Kenya, and has the potential to increase the current population of endangered black rhino. Yet, these two parks are at intense crossroads with the development of a new six lane road. Are we really in dire need of this road? Especially through the Parks, not considering and using the existing road reserve? More than one third of this road will be fenced off inside Tsavo and in the wildlife dispersal areas of Nairobi Park.
And similarly, why build a new road (expressway) while we have not fully utilised the new standard gauge railway? There are those amongst us who feel that the money would have been better used to improve the more needy and old roads than sinking the same amount into new one.
Zebras grazing close to the highway
There have already been warnings like with parts of the continent recently facing the worst drought in recent years, and alarms about cities like Cape Town in South Africa running out of water, there is a sense of disappearing wildlife and wild places are a symbol of deeper anguish, under our watch.
How Tsavo and other ecosystems are being handled depends on visionary policies. Wildlife alone cannot pay for all social needs. Private ranches and conservancies surrounding the park are one way to ease the pressure and allow wildlife to move safely in and out of the park. The fact is, when a park is laid bare, its retention capability is reduced because the root system is destroyed, leading to a cycle of soil erosion and water runoff. While we are still thinking of ideas and ways to tackle problems facing our environment, let’s we not forget that countries like Chad are losing their most reliable source of fresh water, Lake Chad which scientists predict could be drying up.
It’s not yet too late to protect and fight for what we have. We must band together and be heard by the powers that be in order to protect our precious natural resources!