Botanical gardens and community inclusion

Strengthening inclusion of persons with disabilities through creation of botanical gardens


LOCATION: Lushoto District, Kwembago village, north of Lushoto town in the Usambara Mountains. Images above are pictures of some of the trees found in Nazareti Botanical Garden.

ALTITUDE: 1200 m above sea level.

OWNERSHIP: NED-ELCT, Lushoto Parish, Nazareti sub-parish

Nazareti Botanical Garden was opened on 2nd March 2018. Members of  Nazareti sub-congregation were joined by lecturers from faculties of  Education and Science at University of Agriculture and Belgium  respectively participated in planting 50 seedlings donated by SEKOMU.  The botanical garden was opened with the aim of involving the inclusive  community of families within Nazareti sub-parish in:

a) involving children and youths with cognitive disabilities and autism-related challenges in nature conservation;

b) setting a model for inclusion of members with disabilities in the surrounding community;

c) producing fruits for nutritious and economic value;

d) displaying plants in orderly manner and thereby making them accessible to researchers from SEKOMU and elsewhere;

e) providing visitors with information on the usability of indigenous, endemic and exotic tree  species.

On 25th May 2018, Lushoto Parish received financial support from Diplomats Spouses Group (DSG) in Dar es Salaam for construction of a fence that protects the garden. The fence was completed on 11th January 2019.

2. martin luther garden at segera highway:

This garden is in Michungwani village close to Segera Highway. Some fruit trees were already growing in the area when 450 tree seedlings were planted on 11th October 2017. Indigenous trees for shade and décor are mixed with fruit trees such as papaya and mangoes. Martin Luther Garden is mobility-friendly to people using wheel-chairs. The restaurant as well as toilets have ramps. The whole area has the size of about 2 acres and wheel-chair users can easily move around in the garden.


This hospital was started in 1926 by missionaries from Bethel, Germany. Typical for the mission work was planting trees. Bumbuli Lutheran Hospital is surrounded by a forest of eucalyptus trees that were planted in phases since the opening of the hospital. In 1952, Bumbuli Medical Assistants’ Training Centre was opened (currently Bumbuli Clinical Officers’ Training Centre). Both the hospital and the training centre continue to plant trees. During the last couple of years, they have planted 200 Pinus patula  and 210 avocado trees.

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(Above) Bumbuli Lutheran hospital staff under the leadership of Dr. in Charge Ronald Erasto (front row, fifth from left) on tree-planting mission in Bumbuli.

(Below) Dr. Heriel Msanga planting trees together with  SEKOMU students in Magamba.

Listed below are names of trees growing in the botanical gardens of parishes and institutions of the NED-ELCT:

1.  Artocarpus heterophyllus Jack fruit Mfenesi A good shade tree, which bears compound fruits with ornamental-like kernels. The ripe fruit’s flesh is sweet despite its strong smell. The tree-leaves and fruit-coat serve as animal fodder. Though the tree is common in lowland districts such as Korogwe and Muheza Districts, it can also be found in some parts of Usambara Mountains. Common
2. Psidium guajava Guava Mpera The fruits of this tree are pink, soft and contain a lot of small, hard seeds. The leaves and roots are used to treat Malaria and stomach problems. Common
3.  Macadamia tetrahylla Macadamia nut Mkadamia Macadamia nuts are a good source of protein and considered by some to be the most delicious nuts.  In Usambara mountains, they are grown in home compounds as ornamental trees.  The small nuts are used by children as marbles. Rare
4.  Vangueria edulis Spanish Tamarind Mviru The trees have got a good shade. Its fruits have a sweet-and-sour taste with a “cotton-like” consistency. In the Southern Highlands, the tree is known as  Msambalawe. Rare
5.  Malus pumila Apple tree Muepozi In Usambara mountains, apple fruits were introduced by colonial farmers in late 1890’s. They need a lot of care in order to grow well and produce attractive fruits. Common
6.  Persea americana Avocado tree Mparachichi Avocados are appreciated as health-promoting fruits, particularly for children who live in rural areas. Their oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which tend to reduce blood cholesterol. The tree-leaves are used for animal fodder. Common
7.  Prunus Persica Giant Peach Tree Mfyoksi/Tipisi In the Southern Highlands, the tree is commonly known as Mpinigesi and the fruits are much bigger than those found in Usambara. The tree produces fruit that is naturally acidic and provides many antioxidants such as Vitamin C. Peaches are also low on the glycemic index and make a great sugar substitute when you have a craving for something sweet.  Common 
8.  Punica granatum Pomegranate Komamanga The fruit is believed to regulate blood pressure and diabetes. In some parts of Tanzania, branches of the tree are used to demarcate grave yards. Rare
9.  Mangifera indica Mango tree Mwembe This is a fruit tree which bears very good fruits. Ripe mangoes have rich aroma and sweet taste. A mango tree can be converted to lumber once its fruit bearing lifespan has finished. The wood of a mango tree is susceptible to damage by fungi and insects, yet the wood can be used for musical instruments (e.g. Ukelele), plywood and low-cost furniture. Common
10.  Ficus natalensis Fig tree Mvumo Ficus tree is a giant tree endemic to East Africa. The tree shade facilitates water retention and is perceived as a sign of water depository. There are traditional healers who conduct worship rituals near this tree. If removed without being damaged, the bark of the tree can be used to make bark-cloth. Rare
11.  Albizia schimperiana Peacock flower Mshai Mshai is one of the indigenous trees in the Usambara. It provides good shade. In the north eastern part of Tanzania it is common to find mishai growing in banana plantations. The thin leaves of Mshaifall compactly; thereby adding significantly to the fertility of the soil as they decompose. Common
12.  Croton megalocarpus Croton Msenefu This is a shade tree which adds to the beauty of a compound. It is also used as bee forage. The tree bark is associated with medicinal usage. Msenefu is a kind of tree that grows easily and its seeds spread quickly by wind. Common
13.  Pinus patula Pine tree Paini Paini is mainly used for timber. Common