The successful staging of the second Mdumbi Green Fair Music Festival at Mdumbi Point on the Wild Coast was held in May.
A popular and unique fundraiser for TransCape NPO, which is deeply involved in development work in the area, and with the surrounding Xhosa communities, the festival not only draws much needed tourists to the region and thus provides income opportunities for the local population, but it is also used as an opportunity to educate the community about the importance of reforesting the area.
With that in mind, Husqvarna, a world leader in outdoor power products, along with its local dealer, Outdoor Machine Shop, sponsored 150 indigenous trees to the event that were planted over the weekend. Not only that, this sponsorship also helped pay to fence off the newly planted area and for the employment of community members to dig the holes and help with the planting.
Co-organiser and one of the sponsors, Wayne Barton of Tata Waste, said: “Mdumbi was nominated by Getaway magazine as the most beautiful beach in our country, but the vegetation around it has been eroded over the years. With people constantly having to source firewood for cooking, along with goats, sheep and cattle eating new seedling trees, there has been little hope for a sustainable forest eco-system. Today there are very few trees left for tourists to sit under in the hot summer months. We need to re-establish the forest, and thanks to Husqvarna’s valuable donation, we can dramatically enhance the area as a tourist attraction.”
He added that other factors endangering the coastal forests were the intruder plants inkberry and lantana. “To plant the 150 trees we cleared these plants from the allocated piece of land by derooting them. That was a huge job and took us, plus four community employees, five long days. This was all made possible through Husqvarna’s contribution.”
He thanked Husqvarna for its willingness to sponsor and be involved in the event. “The area has no industry and is reliant on tourism for employment, so this ‘greening’ is critical. We are hugely grateful to Husqvarna.”
Jacqui Cochran, marketing manager for Husqvarna South Africa, said: “This fits in with our global sustainability drive and our local ‘Husqvarna Loves Trees’ initiatives. The Mdumbi Green Fair Festival is a wonderful concept. TransCape NPO, Mdumbi Backpackers and the Mankosi community arrange this event annually to raise funds for the NPO, which not only tackles developmental challenges by the communities in the area but also provides a great opportunity to reforest the area through festival goers and the community planting indigenous trees. Not only did Husqvarna’s donation help create awareness of the important role forests play in our planet’s ecology, but it also allowed at least half of the 500 or so festival-goers to offset the carbon footprint of their travels to the event!”