Supporting WeForest in Zambia

Because Every Tree Starts With A Pip…

At Pipit we believe that a business’ societal responsibilities go far beyond its corporate ambitions.

Pipit was created with the core principles of empowerment, enfranchisement and inclusion written into its DNA.

Our mission to incorporate CASH transactions into the digital economy has resulted in the extension of Financial and Social Inclusion to people who were formerly marginalised or excluded from the digital financial world.

In WeForest we have found the perfect partner to help us achieve our societal ambition – to make a difference.

We are donating a proportion of our transaction fees to WeForest to help with their ambitious regeneration project in Zambia.

Our target is to raise £45,000 over the next three years to help support WeForest’s drive to improve the lives of the people of the Luanshya region.

Project Summary

The Luanshya district is Zambia’s most densely populated region and as a result it’s forests have been disappearing. Through a holistic approach that integrates livelihood development with ecological restoration, WeForest supports farmers to restore the native Miombo woodlands that are disappearing from the region. By employing assisted natural regeneration of Miombo woodlots (plots of native woodland on farms) and introducing economic activities such as bioenergy and honey production, local communities can restore their forests. The farmer population benefits from diversified jobs, higher incomes and new skills. The project establishes market linkages between small-scale farmers and local private sector companies. In addition, this project looks to aid farmers in obtaining ownership of land in order to secure the sustainability and longetivity of the conservation and livelihood outcomes.

Ecological restoration

The project empowers farmers to restore Miombo woodlots on their farmland. Farmers with a minimum of one lima (0.25 hectares) of woodlot are recruited and trained in assisted natural regeneration, which involves protecting and nurturing wild tree seedlings. This process is carried out all year round and serves to promote the natural succession of the forest. To monitor the progress of the restoration efforts and the project in general, the farmers details are stored in a database alongside GIS mapping.

Livelihood development

WeForest works with the Luanshya Farmer Cooperative Union to deliver strategies for farmers to make a living without over-exploiting their woodlots. Beehives are set up in woodlots and farmers are trained in honey production to harvest biomass from their woodlots through coppicing, a technique that involves extracting wood from tree stems leaving the total number of trees intact. The latter is specifically designed to tackle the market for charcoal by offering a sustainable alternative. The resilience of the livelihood initiatives is secured through the creation of market linkages with local private sector companies. Rainlands Timber has committed to purchasing biomass from the farmers to process into woodchips and sell to the wider community. Low polluting Peko Pe cooking stoves manufactured by Home Energy and co-financed by WeForest are sold alongside the woodchips to stimulate demand. For further livelihood development, farmers are given timber and fruit trees, the latter are purchased from women-run home-based nurseries set up by local women with the training and financial support of the project.

You can find out more about WeForest’s work in Zambia HERE