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Phillip Siniza WfZ Seed collector

Charcoal seller to indigenous Seed collector

Landscape restoration has several opposing forces: people need firewood for their homes, charcoal is being produced and transported from the surrounding forests to larger towns and the worth of indigenous trees and an intact local ecosystem can only be valued if one has alternative income and energy sources.


Landscape restoration however has the potential to tackle not only challenges people face on a local scale, but has the potential to contribute towards solving climate change and rising global temperatures. This is possible through the cooling effect of forests vs. open savanna-lands as well as fixing Carbon in plants and soil.


Seeds of indigenous trees are more valuable than ever as many species that we promote to plant are getting rarer by the day and some like the East African Mahogany (M’bawa in local language) are already classified as vulnerable by IUCN Red List.

Phillip Siniza Charcoal seller

We are excited to see that the work implemented has the potential to not only change the landscape for the better, but more importantly the minds of some of the former contributors to the problems in the area. We found Thom (name changed) a trader of illegally produced charcoal on his bicycle in a remote place within our project area and stopped him, not to confiscate the charcoal but to try to convince him to work with us.


It turned out he cycled about 60 km every day to transport charcoal from an area of one of our projects, back to Mzuzu, the capital of the Northern Region. So we invited him to come to the WfZ Centre next morning at 7AM to go to the National Forest to collect indigenous tree seeds for WfZ, as he clearly knows the forest better than most of us.

He showed up with his bicycle, we provided some empty bags for him to use, and since then he has collected hundreds of kilograms of seeds that will be used to restore and reforest the areas where his former colleagues have previously cut trees to make charcoal. A happy ending and we will keep looking for others to do the same.


So Thom (name changed for privacy, former charcoal transporter/seller, current WfZ Seed collector) now has asked friends of his to help him collect seeds and has stated that he is happy to work with Wells for Zoë.

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