Today is Earth Day, a day set aside to commit ourselves to be better stewards of this amazing planet we live on. It’s also the perfect day to celebrate the incredible Chaya tree and its impact on the people and environment in Zimbabwe.
We’ve already told you about the enormous nutritional benefits of the Chaya tree in helping fight malnutrition in Zimbabwe. (You can read more about that here.) But that’s only half the story. Chaya trees also play a large part in fighting climate change.
Most families in Zimbabwe grow their own food. It’s a hard job fraught with numerous challenges, many due to climate change. Temperatures in Zimbabwe have been rising since the 1950s. Couple that with a decline in annual precipitation and an increase in mid-season dry spells, not to mention frequent droughts and floods, and you have a recipe for a national crisis.
According to the United Nations Development Program, the impact of climate change on Zimbabwe has helped to drive more than 7.7 million people into hunger.
So how can Chaya trees help combat this crisis?
Chaya trees are extremely hardy and can grow even in the worst drought conditions. Not only do they provide a reliable food source during difficult growing seasons, but their root systems help bind the soil and prevent it from eroding when the heavy rains finally come. They also increase soil fertility and help the soil retain moisture. Even their fallen and decaying leaves release nutrients into the ground that promote microorganism development. All these benefits help to strengthen and increase Zimbabwe’s agricultural productivity.
For families in Zimbabwe, the benefits of Chaya cannot be overstated. Nutritionally, it’s a super-food powerhouse. Environmentally, it’s an agricultural lifesaver.
That’s why the Chaya Tree Project is so important. Thanks to your enthusiastic support, the first phase of the campaign was a huge success, allowing us to plant more than 15,000 trees throughout Zimbabwe.
We’re now ready to launch the second phase of the campaign. With your continued support, we’re hoping to plant 40,000 more trees to double the impact on Zimbabwe’s people and environment.