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Restoration of Green Environment and Eradication of Poverty in Tanzania (RGEEPT) and Rural Community Network (RUCONET) are local NGOs whose work is among communities in Northeastern Tanzania. This month they received 23 visitors from Belmont College, Nashville, TN through a local tour operator, to come for 2 1⁄2 days to work alongside farmers to seek to improve the environment in 2 sub-villages of Lemanyata and Lengijave villages.

East African farmers and North American students working on a contour in Tanzania

Students from Belmont College, working with RGEEPT, RUCONET and ECHO assist local farmers in digging a contour. 

Students and farmers learned how to measure contours, and dug ditches, planted trees and grasses, and channeled water from the nearby roads into the field ditches. The villagers were highly animated to work alongside the students.

At the end, each student donated $60 equivalent to divide between the two NGOs, in order to sustain their support of the villages to address the degraded area’s ravines (some are more than 5 meters deep). In the past year, several miles of contour bunds have been measured and dug in these villages and village by-laws have been re-enacted which were dormant for more than a decade.