Charity organization Justdiggit is on a mission to combat the effects of global warming in Africa, not by pinning our hopes on some new technological development of the future, but by getting their hands dirty – quite literally.
Advocating for nature-based solutions to climate change, Justdiggit’s mission is based on research by The Nature Conservancy which concludes that 37% of the problem could be tackled with an entirely organic approach.
Using tried-and-tested ‘regreening’ methods, the Justdiggit team are cooling the climate by making it easier for new vegetation to grow in certain areas of Africa. The theory goes that Sustainable Land Management such as encouraging the growth of new crops on otherwise dry land can ultimately help to cool down the planet.
Not only this, but regreening land also provides new resources for farmers, new water sources, and education opportunities for those who participate in the efforts in whatever way they can.
The regreening of Africa is no small feat to undertake, but Justdiggit are well prepared for the challenge. Through on-the-ground activity with communities in Africa plus an education and communication offensive to remote communities around the world, Justdiggit are showing just how effective a good communication and collaboration strategy can be.
To date Justdiggit is restoring 60,000 hectares, turning dry land into a fertile resource for local people and the planet at large. They have also brought back more than nine million trees in just four years through Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (or FMNR).
Rainwater harvesting is a hugely important part of the regreening process, since water is essential for the growth of new plants. By digging bunds (semi-circular pits) into the ground to capture rainwater, Justdiggit’s methods create what they like to call ‘earth smiles’ where new biodiversity flourishes on what would otherwise be barren soil.
Justdiggit also has eight grass seed banks, with grass harvested, grown and sold by programme participants. These banks form an oasis of green where they’re planted, creating hay and more seeds for future use.
Areas in which Justdiggit operates with their regreening activities include Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. At the same time, the charity has been campaigning tirelessly in the Netherlands since 2013 to raise awareness about the work they’re doing.
Ambassadors for Justdiggit are impressive and varied, including Dutch presenters Amara Onwuka, Tess Milne, Harm Edens, Floortje Dessing, Mark van der Molen and Rámon Verkoeijen; Dutch astronaut André Kuipers; celebrity chef Jonathan Karpathios; East African artist Ben Pol; MMA fighter Simon Biyong; German hip hop artist Thomas D; Kenyan singer-songwriter Judith Nyambura Mwangi a.k.a. Avril; Tanzanian comedian Jaymondy; and Canadian model Philippe LeBlond a.k.a. The Van Man. Most noteworthy of all, the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a patron and represented the charity across the world.
No matter where you live, there are opportunities for individuals and businesses alike to support Justdiggit. Businesses can count support towards the charity among their sustainability activities, fulfilling SDG goals and ESG strategies, while individuals and groups can start their own ‘bundraisers’ (like fundraisers) raising money for work on even more bunds to help regreen Africa.
To find out more and get involved, visit justdiggit.org.