Once a sleepy fishing village, Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s biggest metropolis and the second biggest port in East Africa. Its population is approaching 4.6 million and rapidly growing, as people from the countryside move in search of a better future. But this has worsened the city’s environmental problems – water and air pollution, and poor waste management. This means a lower quality of life for the city’s inhabitants, especially its children, who lack safe and clean areas to play in.
Our aim was to enhance children’s surroundings at school and teach them vital conservation skills. Tanzania Youth Environmental Network (TAYEN) helped us launch an Urban School Greening project, designed to promote positive environmental values in 12 primary schools in the Kinondoni and Temeke Municipal districts of Dar es Salaam. Tree nurseries in these schools, which will be home to 4,000 trees for conservation education. Trees will be planted across the school grounds too, giving the children greener, healthier spaces to learn and play in.