Overcoming Obstacles in Tanzania

Written by Plant With Purpose on June 9, 2016 in Annual Report, Overcoming Obstacles


Plant With Purpose partnering families are overcoming some tremendous obstacles. From imposing politics, ethnic tensions, limited resources, lack of services, and feeling emotionally defeated, roadblocks to brighter futures present themselves at every turn.

Yet, as Plant With Purpose walks alongside vulnerable families, reality is changing. Despite the obstacles, hope is breaking through as lives and land are transformed.


Obstacles in Tanzania

Tanzania stands as an anomaly in East Africa. Stability and peace have allowed for the slow development of the country. Mt. Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, and Zanzibar are natural resources that draw tourist to visit the country. This past December, political control changed hands and the world was made aware of the corruption taking place on multiple levels. President John Magufuli is a leading example of eliminating wasteful spending and taking action against corruption. In fact, Tanzanians created the hashtag #WhatWouldMagufuliDo to highlight their own cost savings ideas (seriously check out these posts).

With fellow countrymen pursuing personal gain, getting ahead is difficult. Despite dealing with corruption on a consistent basis, Plant With Purpose partnering families are making huge strides. Collaboration, partnership, and trust are taking root with great results. And with that, we are seeing success across Plant With Purpose Tanzania’s program including tree planting efforts and speaking value into farming families’ lives.


Reversing Deforestation

Tanzania’s forest cover is in decline at a deforestation rate of 1.1 percent (NEMC). Plant With Purpose partnering farmers are reversing this trend. Pasilida Tarimu’s goal is to plant a forest on her property. Her steep hillside farm stood bare when she began partnering with Plant With Purpose in 2007. She plants 600 trees a year—some now stand 30 feet tall. Pasilida (pictured above) is combating deforestation and sees the local impact these trees are having as streams now flow year-round and birds return to the area.

As Pasilida and fellow farmers’ trees grow, Plant With Purpose is monitoring their success by utilizing a tool called Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). NDVI tracks changes in plant cover via satellite images from NASA. Analysis shows a 0.5 percent annual increase in vegetation coverage sustained over a six-year period (globally, there is a .08 percent decline in forest coverage). The locations where there is an increase in vegetation coverage specifically correlate to Plant With Purpose partnering communities.

Partnering farmers are working hard to restore the environment with positive results.


Redemptive Agriculture


Tanzania’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture with 80 percent of the population working as farmers (IFAD). Plant With Purpose’s workshops on “Redemptive Agriculture” connect partnering farmers with teachings from the Bible that validate their profession and offer encouragement that they are walking in obedience by caring for creation. Robert Mtey (pictured) proudly shares that his entire family knows the Lord. He gives goats to his local church for celebrations—a version of tithing and a reflection of his maturing Christian faith.


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The Reversing Deforestation and Redemptive Agriculture sections originally appeared in the 2015 Annual Report. View the complete report here.

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