Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Baffled at the constant negative onslaught on the environment, which has now resulted in problems like climate change, deforestation, and flooding among others, the Junior Chambers International (JCI) recently took the tree planting campaign to government schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The 2017 President, JCI, Abuja Unity, Ms. Joyce Lawrence, said the project under the ‘Go Green’ initiative has been on for four years and was meant to sensitise the pupils of LEA Primary School, Dawaki, on the importance of tree planting and also to restore the culture of tree planting.
She said aside the fact that trees serve as erosion control tool, wind-breaker, they also reduce natural disaster. “This is one of the projects that we do annually. Last year we were at the Government Secondary School, Gwoza where we partnered the Indonesian Embassy to plant over 50 trees and today we are at LEA primary school in Dawaki to also plant another 100 trees”, she added.
According to Lawrence; “We have been hearing so much about global warming and climate change. It still boils down to the fact that we have to protect our environment. The absence of trees in the environment is worrisome because trees are like lungs; what lungs add to the human body that is what trees are to the environment.
“We want to let these children know the importance of planting a tree. We should bring back the culture of planting trees. If you cut down a tree you are denying the future generation the privileges you have that they never had,” she said.
Leader of the team, Ms. Unwana Eyo Bright said every year JCI embarks on planting of trees in primary schools, clinics or primary healthcare centres, in order to boost the economic development of trees and also to serve as shade and also in production of oxygen for a healthier environment for everyone.
While giving an insight on how the school was selected, Bright noted that, “we do our need analysis and we go to different environment and we check which environment needs trees more. When we did our need analysis we discovered that along this axis this primary school has no form of shade at all and has no economic trees.”
Also, the Assistant Director, field Operation, Parks and Recreation Unit of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mr. Charles Okpe commended JCI for taking tree planting activity to the school, describing it as a good development for the environment.
He said, “It is a laudable activity, if we go by what is happening in the world over, the problem of climate change, deforestation, flooding all over it is because there has been an onslaught on the environment negatively.”
He revealed that the FCTA supported JCI tree planting campaign by giving them 50 different varieties of trees and 45 flowers from its nursery plant at no cost.
Headmistress of the School, Mrs. Mary Makama said while the FCTA authority is trying its best, there was need for more structures, furniture and other learning materials as the school is now overcrowded.
Twenty best pupils who did well during the training were given JCI ambassadorial tags and would be responsible for taking care of the trees while they are in school.