Ethiopia, a nation which has seen a dramatic decrease in forest coverage from 40% to just 3% in 30 years is now leading the way to faster development. The Great Renaissance Dam and the five years Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) are the bigger signs of her inevitable renaissance. Both initiatives demand afforestation and water conservation.
In a bid to support the nationwide afforestation activities, a few staff members of the College of Medicine and Health Science (CMHS) have organized an initiative to green mount Sanita. Located just a mile away, mount Sanita is within sight of CMHS and has great potential for afforestation. With the aim of creating a jungle of indigenous trees over mount Sanita, a few CMHS staff members came together to organise “The Sanita Green Club” in July 2011.
Soon after its establishment in the club organized CMHS staff and managed to plant about 1000 indigenous trees in August 2011. The club had rapidly garnered interest and grown to have around 70 members paying monthly contributions. Initially started through the initiative of a few academic staff members, it soon grew to include administrative as well as hospital staff.
The Club has continue to go from strength to strength Last June the club was able to achieve the planting of 330 Chibaha trees and about 10,000 indigenous trees – a tenfold increase from the previous year. Club members have also increased in number now totaling to nearly 200. The event also helped to create a greater sense of ownership amongst members of the wider community through the collaboration achieved amongst inhabitants living just underneath the hill (Chechella villagers), police members and the Kebele administration. With the support from the University of Gondar and North Gondar Zone Sustainable Natural Resource Development (an NGO), it was possible to plant much more trees than planned.
This growth and success owes much to the support of the College of Medicine, the management of the University of Gondar and the work and contributions of supporters. There is still much left to achieve and the club calls on everyone to register and be members of this historic initiative.
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