Haji Nur Jawi Sacred Natural Site Association
Located in Buko Kebelle of Goba District, Bale Zone, Haji Nur Jawi SNS covers about 5 to 6 hectares of forest land. The SNS had been established in about 2015 (2007 E.C.) through MELCA’s initiation and support. Currently, it consists of 26 members (16 M and 10 F) and has an executive committee with Mr Kassim Kedir, Mr Abdella Mohammed, and Mr Beshir Aman as its members.
Seven members of the Association were met on the site for group discussion. These are Mr Abdella Mohammed (44 years old, with 13 children from two wives); Mr Abubeker Ibrahim (44 years old, with 8 children); Mrs. Genno Kassim (27 years old, 10 children); Mrs. Rabia Abduro (50 years old, having 3 children); Mrs. Rabia Mame (60 years old, with 3 children); Mr Aman Bilao (40 years old, with 7 children), and Mr Aliyu Mohammed.
According to the participants of the meeting, the site had been abandoned and degraded before the Association was formed. Now, it is getting well rehabilitated and restored mainly as a result of the areal closure measure as well as some conservation and replantation works undertaken. As a live example, the reclamation work was observed causing the reappearance of a spring water source inside the forest which once had been lost as a result of the degradation taking place on the site. As a testimony, a few of the community residents were met fetching water from the flowing spring, which they said is very clean and safe for drinking.
Recognizing the environmental and cultural values of the sites, MELCA initiated and supported their protection through re-organizing the communities for the stewardship or management of the sites. More specifically, MELCA’s support in this regard included the following:
– Technical assistance to interested members of each of the respective communities residing around the sites to get legally organized as an association;
– Provision of limited materials (such as nails and barbed wires) necessary to put protective fences around the sites;
– Provision of some livelihood inputs to selected households living around the sacred natural sites. This particular support has a two-pronged strategic purpose. The first one is to help the targeted households generate some additional incomes besides what they eke out from their regular occupations; and the second purpose is to minimize human pressure on the surrounding environment or natural resources, which the local disadvantaged communities put while they try to make ends meet.