Arsenal Forest: Waiting for the rains

Sustainability Forest waiting for rain

You might have heard about the arid conditions affecting East Africa for the last few years. Well, fortunately, Bore has escaped the worst of the droughts and neem trees are incredibly drought-resistant, but now we’re eagerly waiting for the “big rains” to come and give the trees a good watering.

Climate change is really impacting heavily in this part of the world on the equator and as a result nomadic cattle herders are increasingly bringing their animals southwards in search of forage.

Given half a chance, cattle would make a quick snack of our younger neem trees in the forest. This is one of the reasons we employ security guards – including caretaker Mwalimu Charo, above – to monitor the area 24 hours a day and make sure the barbed wire fences aren’tcompromised and are totally cow-proof!

Neem trees are proven to be the best variety to grow for many reasons: they’re fast growing, don’t require too much rain, termite resistant (very important!), great for the timber crop… and that’s just for starters.

In fact, we love the neem trees so much, the football competition we set up last year was called the Neem Cup and proved to be a huge event in the local area, with the second edition likely to feature a women’s trophy this time too. 

So imagine how surprised and delighted we have been to learn that all of the attention around our forest and its neem trees – including local and national media – has resulted in neem now taking on a definite prestige in the region. In fact, it has now become the most popular tree among the local farmers, who feel a connection to Arsenal by also growing this fantastic species. So our neem is spreading out way beyond our planting site and into lots of nearby farms.

Alex Katana, Bore project manager, tells us, “Since we started this project, neem has become our most popular tree – all our members want to plant neem all of a sudden!”

So there are now even more neem trees in the region than just the ones we have planted – we’ll keep you updated on their progress when the rain arrives.

Sustainability Forest Alex Katana Bore project manager

Bore project manager Alex Katana says the prestige Arsenal has given the neem tree has seen it surge in popularity

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