Delta state Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Jamani Tommy Ejiro, on Friday said tree planting will help curb greenhouse gas emission and stabilize the environment by helping to respond to the challenges posed by global warming. He listed the challenges to include perennial flooding, increased carbon footprint and help the state to earn carbon credit.
The environment commissioner made the remarks while launching the planting of 10 million trees in 10 years at Uzoigwe Primary School in Asaba, the Delta state capital. He presented young trees to pupils of the school in company of the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. (Mrs.) Minnie Oseji and other directors of the ministry.
While launching the planting of the 10million trees in the next 10 years at the school’s morning assembly, Mr. Jamani said the gesture was to inculcate in the school children the culture of planting and nurturing trees on the growing generation of Deltans which would be termed as the green ambassadors.
According to him: “The concept is meant to encourage school children to own and nurture trees which will eventually transform them to become green ambassadors of the state as they would have been groomed through the practice to be part of the global green movement.”
Mr. Jamani told the school children and ministry directors that the concept is intended to kick-off in the three senatorial districts of the state with its maiden edition being launched at the Uzoigwe Primary School while other locations would follow in sequence.
He explained that three different plant species such as oil palm, cashew and teak would be given to each child to be taken home and planted. The child, according to him, is expected to continue nurturing the plant until it grows to become a tree.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. (Mrs.) Minnie Oseji, said the programme is for selected primary and secondary schools, noting that Uzoigwe Primary School was used as pilot school for the flag off of the programme.
Throwing more light on the rationale behind the project, she said: “We are experiencing flooding right now. If we had planted these trees five to 10 years ago, it would have helped us to combat flooding. However, it is not too late.
“The ministry is taken the bull by the horn by putting this campaign together. We hope to set this ball rolling before the rains are over. These children will nurture the trees in their households and monitor them. As they are growing with the trees, they become green ambassadors. Each child is taking one tree home.”
While not condemning felling trees for economic reasons, she said it is expected that as trees are felled, people should plant 10 in the place of one felled. But she lamented people’s negligence to tree planting, an action that is predisposing the environment to flooding.
She called on faith based organisations, community based organisations, ministries, departments and agencies and well spirited Nigerians to join the ministry in the campaign for tree planting. She added that the goal of the ministry is to plant 10 million trees in 10 years.
In separate interview, Head Teacher of the school, Mrs. Chukwura Violet, described the experience with the ministry as a wonderful one, noting that this was the first time in her life she had experience such tree planting initiative.
“It’s a wonderful experience. I’ve never experienced this type of thing in my life. This is my first time. I have assured the commissioner and his directors that we are not going to disappoint them.
“ We are going to monitor the children to nurture the plant. We know as the plant is growing, they are growing. The children will go home with the trees, plant them and pray. As the plant is grows, they are growing with them.”