KITALU:Women Restore urban environment by revitalizing idle urban land spaces into locally-adapted micro-native tree garden business space

We train poor urban women to revitalize idle urban land spaces and establish their own locally-adapted micro-tree gardens business spaces

Photo of Temba Vicent
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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Vicent Sirili

Initiative's representative date of birth


Initiative's representative gender

  • Man

Headquarters location: country

  • Tanzania

Headquarters location: city


Where are you making a difference?


Website or social media url(s) (The project is implemented by remoteness Limited)

Date Started


Project Stage

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan going forward)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €50k - €100k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

On volunteer tree planting & restoring degraded land activities in urban areas, our project Manager Vicent Temba saw most poor women work outdoors where they face air pollution, high temperature, and soil erosion. Alternatively, He saw there are so many small idle lands which have nothing, first thought: Amazing! Second thought: Can this be revitalizing by poor urban women to establish a micro-tree native garden? He decided to revitalize one idle land in collaboration with poor women to start a micro-tree native garden by using local materials and training a mother to run the garden herself.The effect was positive, now urban people buy native trees to restore their natural land. He replicates the model to other idle lands with poor women.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Over years, rapid development and population increase in cities cause problems such as different forms of land degradation including deforestation and forest degradation, loss of vegetation cover, soil erosion, soil pollution and loss of biodiversity. Land, one of the most prized natural assets in urban Tanzania, is under increasing pressure stemming from competition for access, changing consumption patterns and the drive for greater economic growth. This results in loss of access and inequity.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Kitalu is a Swahili word means Micro-regenerative native trees species garden. We identify, train and support poor women in urban/city areas to revitalize idle urban/cities land spaces and establish their own locally-adapted Micro-regenerative native trees species garden business spaces in their local communities. After all, micro-regenerative native trees species garden provide different soil nutrients, shadow for those smaller plants that need it and increase the maintenance of water in the ground, all of which contribute to flourishing. Biodiversity can start to bounce back, bolstered by the critical foundation of pioneer trees. On top of that our Micro-regenerative native trees species garden business influences planting trees that create shade from the hot sun, boost soil water retention, rebuilds topsoil from leaf litter and provides much-needed habitat for many species of birds, reptiles, mammals and insects. After only a few years, trees can transform hot, dusty sandbox urban areas into a recovering habitat complete with small shrubs, lizards and birds'. We provide starter kit & quality assurance to manage their garden in order to influence Biodervisity practices.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

The land is very expensive in urban/cities, it is difficult for poor women to buy or rent and establish the business which restores the urban environment. While at the same time there is idle land in urban/cities that has not used for anything. Kitalu differentiates itself by engaging poor urban women to revitalize idle urban land spaces and establish their own locally-adapted micro-tree gardens business spaces to reduce urban carbon footprint. This model allowed poor women to start their environmental restoration business without the front costs of purchasing land and maintain control over the income generated to cover school fees, nutritional food for their families

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

The project is implemented by Remoteness Ltd with long-term partners. We work in partnership with Forest training Institute, universities and the local government in urban areas responsible for environment & community development. They're closely involved in selecting & mobilizing the communities and supporting the poor urban women to revitalize idle urban land spaces and establish their own locally-adapted micro-tree gardens business spaces. We also partner organizations that provide community-based programs - to benefit from cost savings and double-down on impact.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

A mother said, “Now I paid the school fees for my kids because of this micro-native trees garden business, I am inspired to welcome other women to this business while at the same time we restore our urban environment”. Today mothers are able to earn more than 150-250 USD per month. Kitalu empowered more than 50 ladies with jobs and created overall more than 100 jobs sustainably in less than 2 years and with minimal investment. More than 5000 native trees, natural flowers, fencing plants have been planted.Kitalu Network mothers receive intensive training & mentoring on how to manage the garden, entrepreneurship, Natural-compost preparation and record keeping. To date, we didn’t have any land conflict and all of our women have a permit from local municipal authorities. “These mothers help to conserve our urban environments, we really appreciate now trees become cheap for poor people to buy"-Urban city planner. Now biodiversity has entered to the streets, squares, in the urban areas.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

There are so many idle urban land spaces in Urban Tanzania urgently needing this project. Kitalu will scale up using our innovative model to train poor urban women to revitalize idle urban land spaces and establish their own locally-adapted micro-tree gardens business spaces. Our long-term goal is for governments to adopt our program and scale it nationally. Through public-private partnerships, we will leverage microfinance to increase market penetration and grow native tree business sales both to individual households, social enterprises and companies.Strengthen our team and its skills through specialized training. - Enhance our financial capacity by improving our fundings management, both internal and external.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

Kitalu creating the green business that didn’t happen in the previous time. We create shared value to make an impact on the environment by empower Women to restore the urban environment through revitalizing idle urban land spaces into a network of locally-adapted micro-native tree garden business space.We ensure they sell native species and no risk of harming the natural habitat and growing period. Our mothers generate additional income in a simple, sustainable and eco-friendly way. We train each kitalu owners to operate like its own business, they raise their own capital, saving and produce native trees. They are connected in the value chain with customers for cheap and profitable prices.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Kitalu now is in the process of establishing and testing its Natural urban environment hub which is business to Business (B2B) financial sustainability model, what we will do is to aggregate the demand of native trees, flowers, vegetation, organic fertilizers from poor women own micro-native tree garden business space and we take this demand to our Hub as the market for supplying them with products (native trees, flowers, organic fertilizers) at a cheaper price than they can grow themselves. Our new training of trainer’s model reduces costs by using existing delivery channels & generating economies of scale. Kitalu is actively seeking grants & partnerships with businesses to fund the capital costs & overhead required to grow.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

We have 3 Team lead and two support staff in our office with more than five years’ experience. Vicent Temba Project, Project Team Lead and Revitalizing land specialist: I am passionate and expertise in empowering women Maria Lashau: Women Micro native tree garden Mobilizer and Native tree specialist: Her biggest inspiration women who own their native tree garden in urban area.. Janeth Edward, Photographer and Film Maker Lead: She is a compelling storyteller in digital platforms and photos

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Search engine

12. Connection to Biodiversity: How does your project directly contributes to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity? Please share data to support your answer.

Kitalu women sell a completely natural environment supply chain products in the urban ecosystem including (1) Native trees (2) Natural flowers (3) Natural vegetables, vegetation, and fruits trees (4) Provide organic manure for planting products (5) fencing plants (6) Consultation like how to grow the products, landscape, and Management. These products provide necessities of urban biodiversity life itself by contributing to clean our air, protect our drinking water, create healthy communities, and feed the human soul. Kitalu customer said: “I love Kitalu women, they sell their products at affordable prices which inspired me to like natural beauty environment by planting native trees, flours, and fruits in my home that lower urban temperatures and bolster community pride".They sell on average 30-50 per day natural trees, flours,et.c to households and corporate social responsibility of companies. Inspiring! More than 5000 native trees, natural flowers, fencing plants have been planted.

13. Example: Please walk us through one or two concrete examples that show how your solution will solve the problem you’re trying to address.

Betty is a 40-year-old single mother of 3 living in Ngarenaro Street, Arusha, Tanzania. She said, "I love the native environment, inspires people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees". She would like to run her own micro-regenerative native trees garden one day, but she has neither the training nor land and other resources to do this. So I thought what if we are able to identify, train and support poor women in urban areas on how to revitalize idle land spaces and establish their own locally-adapted micro-tree regenerative native gardens business spaces, provide a kit with some materials and replicate this model for other cities/town. Betty knows she could become a conservation leader by selling native trees species in the urban communities. Our solution increase the quality of life of poor women and their children in urban areas since they lack access to basic social services alternatively urban forestry can help fill the needs gap by empowering them to receive the green income

14. Marketplace: Who else is addressing this problem in your environment? How does your proposed project differ from these other approaches?

Kitalu Reimagined Urban Biodiversity! Most micro-tree gardens in Tanzania are based on research institutes, and plantations, which are very far from urban areas. The urban communities can efficiently green themselves with their own micro native tree gardens. Most importantly, poor women creating a network of large-scale distribution Opportunities for micro-Native tree gardens as a sale point of native trees, Natural flowers, and vegetation, and fruit trees for restoration of urban biodiversity. What's unique is the size and location of the farms they work with. While others concentrate on centralized traditional gardens, Kitalu works with the urban idle land to ensure that even the under-resourced women can legally participate in green their areas with limited spaces. In the process, we are redefining what is to be a micro native tree garden, the marginalized urban communities will continue to buy the biodiversity products and gradually see changes in the urban ecological restoration.

15. Awards & Recognitions: What awards or recognitions, if any, has the project received so far?

“My life now has been changed after join kitalu green business now I am connected to Women saving micro financing group for saving and get to provide me with the necessary items to grow beyond my individual capabilities and in order not to cut the supply for the growing demand of Native trees”-Appreciation and recognition from mother from Kitalu Network. Kitalu has been awarded small grant from Monduli Community training develpment Institute

16. Financial Sustainability – funding breakdown: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating an estimated percentage that comes from each source.

Kitalu has raised funding from friends( 5%) who believed in the vision of the restoration of urban environment enterprise. 5 % from corporate contributions that expand training support. 90 % of poor women community volunteerism of revitalizing land themselves to creating their own micro native tree garden business space for selling natural environment supply chain products in the urban ecosystem including (1) Native trees (2) Natural flowers (3) Natural vegetables, vegetation, and fruits trees (4) Provide organic manure for planting products (5) fencing plants (6) Consultation like how to grow the products, landscape, and Management. We appreciate our poor women and mothers. Let us go green in urban areas restoration.

17. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge? How would you invest the prize money to leverage your work?

Urban resident said: “Many people and their families have come to urban areas in search of better jobs and livelihoods but they face environmentally hazardous” Kitalu is a great place to create awareness of the amazing urban nature and the need to take proper care of them, connect and learn from others in the community as well as support planting & experience activities that gets us closer to leading Biodiversity healthy lives. We would use various platforms, to tell the story of effort about the restoration of urban biodiversity in urban areas. Our plan is to use the investment to grow our work to include more poor women in urban communities to expand the revitalizing the idle urban land into micro native tree garden. We want to reach further away places where we know there is idle land which could benefit greatly from our initiative. The investment would be used for exploration, training, revitalizing and implementation of new idle land.

Evaluation results

7 evaluations so far


Yes, absolutely! - 71.4%

Yes/maybe - 0%

Maybe - 14.3%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 14.3%


5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 57.1%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 0%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 42.9%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 0%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 42.9%

4- Yes, I think so. - 42.9%

3- Maybe. - 14.3%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 14.3%

4- Yes, I think so. - 57.1%

3- Maybe. - 14.3%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 14.3%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 14.3%

4- Yes, I think so. - 42.9%

3- Maybe. - 28.6%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 14.3%


5 -Yes, absolutely! - 42.9%

4- Yes, I think so. - 28.6%

3- Maybe. - 28.6%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 14.3%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 71.4%

3- Maybe. - 14.3%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 75%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 100%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 100%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 100%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 50%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 50%

Other option - 0%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 75%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 50%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 25%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 75%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 75%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 100%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 50%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 25%

Other option - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Sebastião Alves

Her initiative is very good, which includes women as authors of their own destinations through the implementation of urban or peri-urban agriculture and where it is possible to plant trees of native species and with regenerative qualities.I think that biodiversity has to enter the streets, squares, and any urban area. Your project brings the forest to the city and this is essential for the life cycle, and for human well-being. Congratulations on the initiative and I wish you success.

Photo of Temba Vicent

Hi Sebastiao Alves, Thank you very much for the feedback. Many cities in our area have a consequent amount of underutilized idle land spaces. These places are transformed and inspire poor women in local urban areas to create their own biodiversity micro-regenerative native trees species garden. These micro-regenerative native trees species garden can help poor women earn extra money and it is an incentive to restore the degraded urban environment. Best, Temba

Photo of Sebastião Alves

Dear Sir, I wish you much success in your work.

Photo of Temba Vicent

Thank you very much and have a nice achievement to your work too

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