By Funmilayo Adeyemi
The Green Sahara Farms in partnership with the Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA) and Sterling One Foundation Agroforestry for Climate Action Project (SACAP) has engaged in the planting of 10,000 trees across 24 unity colleges.
This is in a bid to mitigate the impact of climate change such as flooding and desertification across the country.
The President General of USOSA, Mr Mike Magaji, at the inauguration of the tree planting at the Federal Government Girls College, Bwari, on Friday, said there was need to inculcate the culture of environmental participation through young children.
Magaji said that doing this would make the children grow up to learn and appreciate the values of keeping the environment safe and clean, thereby protecting the country and environment.
According to him, one of the way of doing it is tree planting. We are in the first phase, we are going to do 10,000 trees in 24 unity schools across the country.
“This project is to introduce basically environmentally friendly programme and in this case tree planting to unity schools across Nigeria.
” We are working with Sterling One Foundation and Gree Sahara Farms to plant trees to protect these schools and the children while also to guarantee the future of our environment.
” You are aware of the issues of climate change, desertification on the one side in the north and flooding on the other side in the south .
“So this is very significant and it is important that we recognise the importance of the environment and also try to preserve it,” he said.
Magaji added that the project would target six states by geopolitical zones, while pledging to scale up the project further through adequate monitoring.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Green Sahara Farms, Mr Suleiman Dikwa, said that the best way to protect the environment was through the students.
Dikwa urged the Federal Ministry of Education to inculcate the project into schools curriculum to arouse the consciousness of students toward a safer environment.
He said that the importance of tree planting could not be overemphasised as it had a way of contributing to the nutritional growth of the people.
In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sterling One Foundation, Mrs Olapeju Ibekwe, encouraged the students to nurture the trees planted to fight against climate change.
” The issue of climate change is a global pandemic, so it is important that everyone come together to address it,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who lauded the initiative, described it as one of the unique benefits of agroforestry was to provide mitigation benefits along with adaptation to climate change.
Adamu, represented by the Deputy Director, Education Support Services in the ministry, Dr Uche Udoji, said the nutrition tree planting initiative would provide a lot of environmental, economic and social benefits to the teachers, learners and the schools in general.
“We are all aware of the great threat that climate change poses to the planet and also aware of the Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13 )which calls for Climate action and for protecting lives.
” The goal enjoins us to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.
” I must not fail to acknowledge that this initiative is timely and apt with the recent introduction of the ‘Environmental Clubs’ in our schools for the purpose of climate change adaptation and Disaster risk reduction.
” The Club will provide a platform for tree planting, gardening school-wide clean-up and recycling scheme,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inauguration which was sponsored by the Green Sahara Farms featured the establishment of the Young Agroforestry Club in the school. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola