At age 24, Emmanuel Niyoyabikoze who lives in Bubanza, Burundi is set to make a mark in climate change goalskeeping. His goal? To plant 1 million trees in Burundi. I mean 1,000,000 tree. Not an easy task though but Emmanuel is determined and has chosen to embrace nature in Burundi as he tends to his nursery next to the Kidahwe river. It is a story of a creative and inspiring young man, setting examples for fellow youths and the coming generation, and pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
All over the world, especially in Africa, deforestation and desertification is a major problem with trees being cut down for firewood and agricultural land but with no efforts whatsoever to replant these trees. Majority of Burundians are farmers and they grapple with the effect of erosion, desertification and climate change on food production, flooding and the environment.
Emmanuel believes in human potentials and that we can turn the tide of things by saying that, “Learn to learn by your self. Don’t wait till others tell you what to do. Find your passion and try. Your power and your strength are inside you.”
He continues that, “My goal, my vision is to save our planet by fighting against climate change and global warming. The #GreeningBurundi Project is being done in order to inspire the other people and awake the youth to act for and make a change. ”
Emmanuel started the Greening Burundi Project in October 2018 by setting up a nursery containing a whooping 40,000 trees. His initial plan was having 100,000 seedling but that was not to be due to meager resources available to him.
He has this to say on the tree planting processes, “I started by filling soil into bags after which they would be put in a nursery. After setting up a nursery, I sowed seeds in the bags containing soil (this is called direct seeding) which would be followed watering, supplying, weeding and adding natural manure and putting in good condition the trees so they can grow and become available to be planted.”
To date, Emmanuel has planted more than 35,000 trees between January 2nd, 2019 and early March. In the second phase of the project, he is preparing to plant more than 100,000 trees. These trees are planted at absolutely no cost in many places including schools, roads, residences and mountains. Kidahwe Basic School in Bubanza Commune became the the 11th school to have #GreeningBurundi trees planted in their compound.
Emmanuel’s appeal to humanity is for them to remember that, “The tree is a life. Human cannot live without nature. I invite everyone to love, respect, preserve and protect the environment by planting trees. The environment is everyone’s business, I pray that you will support this initiative in order to ensure our planet is protected.”
This young entrepreneur has received encouragement from his community and other concerns outside Burundi even in the midst of differing challenges, but he remains undaunted. There are also a number of people who have bought into the vision and inspired by the tenacity of Emmanuel to save the planet earth.
So what are you doing at your own little corner. Are you standing for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Why not arise now and make that difference in this generation.
Emmanuel has written his name in gold and he would need all the support he could get to get to the 1,000,000 trees goal. He works and sweat day and night in order to make our world better and is presently building a a tree forest on Nyagonga Mountain. He would be glad to have you help him name this little forest.