1. ORGANIZATIONAL BACKGROUND
Green Arusha Society (GAS) is a registered Non-Governmental Organization operating largely in Arusha region established on the basic concept of environmental conservation and eco-development in local communities.
It is a non-religious, non-political and non-profit making organization rendering services within the urban and rural communities, it is such an indigenous NGO mushroomed from the grassroots level that works basically on balancing the interests of the local people and the government as far as environmental conservation and management is concerned.
2. MISSION STATEMENT
To improve the day-to-day life of urban and rural people by imparting knowledge, awareness and skills on environmental conservation and management and eco-development through involvement of target groups.
3. GENERAL OBJECTIVES
To CREATE awareness within local communities on environmental destruction impacts. To SUPPORT environmental activities within local communities. To MOBILIZE urban and rural people in different groups to fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS crisis. To PROMOTE environmental conservation among women and youth groups within local communities. To FACILITATE trainings on eco-development, cultural tourism, and conservation of natural environments to different groups.
Deforestation has become a major problem in Tanzania particularly in rural areas whereby approximately 92,000 hectares of forests are being cleared each year to meet the basic needs of 90% of Tanzanians in urban and rural communities who depend entirely on forests as source of energy, whereas 91% of all energy required for domestic purposes comes from wood. The rest 9% are electricity, biogas, solar and kerosene which are relatively expensive for most of Tanzanians to afford and have access to.
Apart from fuel wood consumption, agricultural practices, illegal charcoal burning, human settlement expansion, miscellaneous fires and livestock overgrazing, have collectively contributed to such loss of biodiversity in Tanzania without serious replacement of trees hence had a big impact on the environments. On the other hand, over population and unplanned settlements in urban areas lead to poor waste management resulted into outbreak of diseases such as typhoid, cholera, malaria, etc. This in turn, results into poverty vicious in the country if the people are not provided with adequate education and awareness to overcome the problems. The government, local institutions and organizations including NGOs, CBOS and CSOs have been putting more efforts to sensitize, raising awareness and involving local people in local communities in environmental conservation activities which in one way or another perception is still very low, in other words, the impact does not match with efforts invested.
5. ORGANIZATION’S ACTIVITIES
Our basic activities include raising awareness and motivation among the local people through trainings and seminars on environmental conservation, tree nursery operations, soil conservation programmes and motivation for forestry interests to individuals and groups in local communities. For future activities, we expect to carry out a research for alternative source of energy to fuel wood and Appropriate Technology Research (ATR).