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In Nepal, planting trees for life

Here, school students in Nepal pack out tree seedlings.

Peace Corps Volunteer Steven Fosher recently completed a tree plantation project in his Nepali community that reached 2,000 people, planting 12,000 trees. 

The project focused on providing women, schools and communities the opportunity to produce fruit trees, providing additional sources of nutrition and income.

In the first phase, Steven collected and distributed varieties of fruit trees including mango, lemon, lime, pear, lychee, orange, papaya, pomegranate and guava. The project soon expanded to a second phase that involved planting forest trees. These timber trees would be used as livestock fodder (animal feeding), live fencing for crops, and erosion prevention on hillsides.

The trees were gathered from several nurseries and transported to the various schools and communities for programs. Tractors, buses and carts carried the trees most of the way, but sometimes the trees had to be carried by hand to areas that are difficult to access by vehicle.

Community members distribute tree seedlings and carry them to different areas.
Community members distribute tree seedlings and carry them to different areas.

When individuals received their trees, they were instructed on proper planting techniques and how to best maintain and care for the trees. At schools, students were taught about the positive environmental impact of trees and the proper uses of trees.

Individuals, families, women’s groups and schools were involved in the planting and continue to care for the trees. It is intended that these trees will provide livelihood and nutritional benefits in the communities where they were planted.

The District Forest Office’s forestry nursery and the District Soil Conservation’s nursery provided great help with this project. The project also benefited from the assistance of the District Agriculture Development Office, which provided the fruit trees.

Photos by Steven Fosher

Story contributed by the Food Security Team in the Peace Corps Office of Overseas Programming and Training Support