The Friends of Usambara Society is a grassroots organization that uses sustainable tourism to conserve the nature and culture of the Usambara Mountains region.
The goal of the Green School Program in the Magamba Nature Reserve is to plant fruit trees around 3 primary schools that surround the reserve and a water catchment area called Lushoto Jegetal.
The idea is that students are the ones planting the seedlings, and in turn learning about erosion control, mitigating climate change, improving access to clean water, and creating an income source for their community. Furthermore, fostering environmental stewardship within the communities children will create tomorrow’s conservation leaders.
Planting fruit trees adjacent to the reserve reduces the dependence on fruits within the forest reserve, which in turn reduces the degradation of biodiversity. Fruits also provide additional key vitamins to the diets of the villagers.
In addition, the sustainable conservation and management of the nature reserve will improve access to potable water in the area; the Lushoto Jegetal supplies water to over 20,000 people. Planting trees around the watershed will reduce erosion and purify the water.