My First Earth Hour Experience | WWF
My First Earth Hour Experience

Posted on 16 April 2019

I didn’t know anything about Earth Hour! Interestingly the first time I got to hearing about it is when I was asked to be part of the Earth Hour planning team for the Tanzania office! My unit assigned me to put all the content for social media together and to oversee all the arrangements for the activities for Earth Hour! I didn’t know where to begin with as there are so much literatures and content on Earth hour!
I had to spend hours browsing and pouring over, and everything that I was reading was extremely interesting and it got me excited by the minute! More exciting was the fact that I was in the middle of it!

After a long wait and so much effort it was finally 30th March! The long awaited Earth Hour day was here. I couldn’t keep calm. We were promised an Eco tour and as the first eco tourists out there. Because I had to organize everyone and being the perfectionist I am, I got to the office really early and made sure all was set for our trip.

Finally at 0800 we were all ready to leave Dar Es Salaam city. The sprit was celebratory and the weather was really hot as Dar is usually. It took us almost an hour to get to Vikindu Forest Reserve about 20kms from the city. Vikindu was another first for me. I couldn’t believe there was such a place and tranquillity so close to a busy busting city!

Simply put it is a haven of coolness! And so our tour had begun. And guess what? It began to rain! That was no discouragement for the team, it only ignited our desire to go even further into the forest. Led by a professional botanist we had so much fun repeating all the biological or scientific names of the trees which am afraid I don’t even what to repeat! I can try one though: Alibizia Petersiana Fabaceae, hope I got that right!  Deep into the forest we came to a beautiful place where WWF Tanzania has supported by building a beautiful picnic site facing a natural pond and a river that doesn’t dry throughout the year. Can you believe it? All year long! Ohhh it was simply amazing.

We also got to witness the switching on of the solar energy power that has been installed by WWF Tanzania as part of supporting eco tourism at Vikindu Forest Reserve. I couldn’t believe there were people doing so much for the environment!

Sadly it was time to get back to our dear Dar Es Salaam. On my way back I couldn’t stop thinking of how beautiful this home of our is, if only we humans could wake up and stop destroying the environment we could have a lot of Vikindus around us and we could avoid a lot of environmental problems brought about by climate change. Am I glad I was part of Earth Hour this year and more so part of the organizing team that facilitated people to connect to earth!

Our team also supported the planting of 20,000 trees in another forest reserve of Kazimzumbwi again just some kilometres from Dar Es Salaam. That’s another beautiful story for another day. Earth hour is an experience I want a rerun to. During the ride back I vowed silently that I will definitely be part of Earth Hour next year.  Nature is wonderful, we should all protect it for ourselves and for the future too!! We should all connect to it.
Liberia Kaole (left) and Iddi Hamis (right) saying "we are connected"
© Joan Itanisa