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Double harvest: Maasai women keep bees and get to conserve their environment

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TechInAfrica – The hives stored in the branches of the trees are lowered one by one to the ground and the honeycomb is carefully removed. The hives are then restored again in height in the canopy. The steppe itself is massive and extends from the Usambara to the Great Rift Valley via the borders of Kenya and Ethiopia. This beekeeping initiative is concentrated in the area outside Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Most of the people who live here are Masai, many are now semi-nomadic, raising cattle in the traditions that have lasted for centuries.

via : http://www.maasaibeekeepers.org

Women own and manage their beekeeping business as a business. Their initial funding in the form of microgrants and training comes from a non-profit organization called African Wildlife and People (AWP). The idea is that women do not reimburse the organization for the sale of their honey, but instead they agree to devote their time and energy to conservation work. These can include tree planting, village cleaning or environmental education where women go to schools and villages to talk about environmental issues and conservation.

Samson John Beah helps lead the beekeeping programme for African peoples and wildlife. Beekeeping is important to this Maasai community because it has demonstrated hard work and a long tradition of protecting the environment,” he says. Therefore, the beekeeping project is a business that protects their environment while providing them with a certain income for their needs through the sale of honey and other bee products. According to Beah: “The objective of this project is both conservation and income generation from the environment.” He says that nearly 1,200 women are participating in these programs and that more than 1,300 hives are currently being planted in the wild bush for harvesting. Other programs aim to reduce conflicts between people and wildlife so that they are not hunted. One of them is to plant trees to make a natural fence around villages.

Creating financial opportunities for sustainable businesses also means that people are less likely to compete with wildlife for survival. The beekeeping project started in 2014 and the beekeeping project for women. According to Laly LIchtenfeld, biologist and co-founder of African People and Wildlife, the harvest growth was considerable at that time. Lichtenfeld says: “Women hang hives in the wild bush, in the trees and they collect honey. They have harvested more than seven tons of honey to date.” It makes sense to set up hives because Tanzanian law protects the land around them. “You can’t cut down the tree and you can’t grow it near the hive because the goal is wild pollination and maintaining space for wild bees and wild flowers through these beautiful ecosystems,” says LIchtenfeld. They hope that as their businesses grow, so will the bush that supports wildlife.Women sell their honey in bulk on the markets of Arusha.

 

 

Source : www.africanews.com

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