World Malaria Day: Working at the Root of the Problem

Written by Plant With Purpose on April 26, 2011 in General

By Kate Nare

Today is World Malaria Day and Plant With Purpose would like to join the global effort to make progress toward zero malaria deaths by 2015.

This month, as part of our “Trees Please!” campaign, we’ve been talking about how tree planting, coupled with other forms of sustainable development such as implementing sustainable agriculture programs, creating economic opportunity through micro-credit and micro-enterprise, and fostering spiritual renewal, helps alleviate poverty.

Without trees, the quality of the soil and the water becomes depleted. Without a healthy eco-system, poor people are exposed to drought, chronic diarrhea due to filthy water, or one of the top killers in the world: malaria.

Recent studies show a direct link between malaria and deforestation. Clearing forests consequently creates an ideal habitat for mosquitoes that carry malaria. They thrive in the landscape that’s left by laying their eggs in standing pools of water. As the insects multiply, so does the risk of infection, and without treatment the outcome can be deadly.

Working at the root of the problem, Plant With Purpose works to prevent infectious diseases such as malaria through reforestation efforts. When the health of the soil is restored, the risk of disease is diminished. Additionally, watersheds become replenished, soil becomes more fertile, and erosion is halted, allowing farmers to plant nutritious crops for food and as a source of income. The health of the land is therefore vital to the health of the poor people who depend on it for survival.

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