Sustaining environment through tree planting campaign

The task of reclaiming environmental degradation caused by insurgency cannot be over-emphasised. MUAZU ABARI reports that tree planting is one of such.

The importance of tree planting in the socio-economic development and continued existence of mankind is no longer a child-play.

That is to say that trees play important roles in the life of a man and the environment. It is in view of this reality that governments across the globe continue to come out with deliberate policy and action plan that will lead to the mitigation of climatic change in their countries.

Despite all efforts to address the challenges of climatic change and global warning at all levels, this challenges still constitutes a serious threat to the survival of mankind and environmental sustainability thereby calling for collective actions to nip it in the bud.

It is in view of this reality that a non governmental organisation in Adamawa state decided to complement government’s efforts on climate change.
The foundation which was established in 2000 with the objectives of bringing succour to the common man through humanitarian interventions decided to inculcate free annual tree planting campaign towards fighting desertification in Adamawa state.

The tree planting campaign

The maidan edition of I.Y kwache annual tree planting campaign started in 2001 which saw the distributions of 10,000 trees of various economic importance. Examples include mahogany, sheabutter tree, black plum, olive tree, among others. This was followed by the second edition of the programme which took place in 2002 and again saw the distributions of another set of 10,000 trees of different variety and species.
The 2023 edition of the tree planting campaign is unique and historic in all ramifications. The event which took place in Michika, attracted stakeholder’s, policy makers, traditional rulers and personalities within and outside the state to witness this epoch making event.

Sustaining the environment

Speaking, chairman board of trustees of the foundation, Barrister.Iliya Yame Kwache said their decision to embark on annual mass tree planting campaign is to bring life back to the community and contribute their quota towards the sustenance of the environment.

“When it comes to fighting climate change and global warning, doing nothing is not an option. We make bold to say that tree is life even water depends on tree. The I.Y Kwache Foundation is proud to assist our world in mitigating and eliminating global warning through annual mass tree planting,” he stressed.

According to him, the cardinal motto of the foundation is justice, peace and development and mass tree planting will definitely bring justice, peace and development to communities adding that the United Nations actions for a healthy planet is centred on tree planting which the foundation will never take for granted.

He called on government at all levels and other stakeholders to take the issue of climatic change and global warming seriously and re- committed themselves to the fight against climatic change due to its adverse effects on the survival of mankind and existence of communities.

“The government has the biggest part to play in fighting climatic change; that is why during the second edition of our tree planting programme, we threw a challenge to the government and suggested a practical way which is actually actionable. We are still reminding the various arms of government that these suggestions are doable.”

Kwache further called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency make tree planting a compulsory reguirement for promotion of civil servants in the country while all corps members, he said, should be made to plant trees as part of their service year.

He suggested that the military, police, para military organisations and religious bodies should be encouraged to key into tree planting while the federal government should create a ministry for tree planting.

Warning against violation of forestry law

Speaking at the event, the district head of Michika, Ngida Zakawa re-iterated the commitments of traditional institutions to partner with the foundation and other spirited individuals to fight climatic change to fast-track development in the community and lend his supports towards the activities of the foundation.

He warned against indiscriminate falling of trees and violation of forestry law saying that anybody found wanting would not be spared as the full wrath of the law would be visited on such.

“To you our subjects, we are telling you to desist from indiscriminate cutting of trees. If you are caught you will face the music; so we are warning you, more especially our economic trees which our people are fond of.”
Speaking barely one week ago while receiving first class traditional rulers in the state who paid him a sallah homage in Government House Yola, Gov Fintiri who expressed concern over indiscriminate burning of trees banned cutting of trees throughout the state and directed traditional rulers to relate the message to their subjects noting that there is a law to that effect which have not been implemented over the years, but his administration decided to fully implement now.

Also speaking, the chairman of Michika local government represented at the event applauded the foundation for this initiative and its numerous interventions which have gone a long way to making life more meaningful to the people.
He reiterated the commitments of the council to work hand in hand with the foundation and other stakeholders to improve the living conditions of the citizens in all areas of human endeavours.
The chairman further called on the people to shun indiscriminate cutting of trees and imbibe the culture of tree planting to safeguard the environment, adding that government would no longer take the issue of tree cutting with hand gloves as the full wrath of the law would be brought to bear on culprits.
On his part, a stakeholder and community leader Lama Luka also lend his voice on the need for the general public to embrace tree planting and bring back the lost glory of the communities.
“Tree planting will bring back the lost glory of our communities because when we plant trees, we would have more shed and even houses that lost their trees to insurgency.

Expert shed more lights

Speaking, a professor of Agricultural Engineering Modibbo Adama University (MAU) Yola, Prof Kalep Filli said climatic change is one of the biggest threats to the world today and progressively emerging as one of the most serious global problems affecting many segments of economic growth in the world, hence the need to take the campaign seriously.
He stressed the need for continous climatic change education and awareness of climatic change mitigation and adoptation campaign in the country as the only way out for Nigeria and Nigerians amidst increasing threats posed by climatic change and global warming.
“Tree planting campaign should be progressively initiated through mass media especially radio and community channels to create awareness and advocacy in our communities to avoid indiscriminate cutting of trees and instead use alternative sources as clean cooking energies such as liquified petroleum Gas, solar systems and renewable energy sources.”
According to him, the I.Y Kwache annual tree planting campaign has not only come to stay but has also set up sustainability self help agenda for the communities long term afforestration culture and resilient forest management programme for the Boko Haram affected areas in order to create awareness on the need to mitigate the negative consequences of climatic change caused by indiscriminate deforestation.
He added that tree cutting is one of the causes of climatic change therefore awareness and mitigation is critical in reducing its impacts in the region.
He noted that climatic change significantly affects rural communities particularly in Africa which rely mainly on farming activities and natural resources for their livelihood. He said communities in northern Adamawa suffered devastations of its infrastructures by insurgents so the best and the easy way to safeguard the community and the earth is through tree planting.

Beneficiaries applauded efforts

Most of the people and beneficiaries of the free seedling distributions commended the foundation for always identifying with the plight of the community through its various interventions programmes.
Speaking at the sideline of the event, a beneficiary Emmanuel Zirra said, “We in northern Adamawa especially Michika and Madagali axis are indebted to the founder of this foundation for his uncommon love, patrotism and commitments to the wellbeing of our people. He continued to sacrifice his hard-earned resources for the sake of our development. If other privileged people in our society will emulate him, the sky would be our limit. We can’t thank him enough and only God would pay him back for all his good deeds to our communities.”
Another beneficiary who gave her name as Kwanye Goji said the tree planting campaign introduced by the foundation in the last three years has not only raised their awareness on the danger of tree cutting but also opened their eyes on how to jealously protect their environment against climatic change.
On his part, another beneficiary Joseph Tumba called on other organisations to emulate the foundation by giving back to the society saying that it is not only in the areas of tree planting and cultural rebirth that the foundation has paid its dues, but also in the area of community services digging of boreholes, educational suppports, medical intervations, skills acquisition among others.

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