By Olayinka Olawale
The Rotary Club of Eko Atlantic and the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) have begun planting of 1,000 coconut seedlings on Lagos coastline to rebuild the Atlantic green walls.
Speaking at the flag-off of the exercise at Oniru Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, Rotarian Gboyega Bada, President, Rotary Club of Eko Atlantic, said the collaboration would protect the environment.
Bada noted that no fewer than 10,000 seedlings would be planted yearly by the club to promote coconut as a cash crop.
He said that the exercise was been carried out with 15 other Rotary Clubs in Lagos to bring back the glory of coconut as the only cash crop produced in the state.
Bada added that the club would partner the LASCODA on distribution and planting of coconut seedlings in public schools.
He said that the club had also sought the approval of the Lagos State Ministry of Education to plant coconut in all primary and secondary schools.
He noted that the move was a way of re-introducing coconut back to the new generation right from school.
In his remarks, Mr Dapo Olakulehin, the General Manager, LASCODA, said that about 180 kilometres from Ibeju-Lekki to Badagry, Seme border, would be rebuilt under the partnership.
Olakulehin said that the collaboration was to further promote sustainable coconut production, utilisation and commercialisation in the state.
According to him, the mandate of the LASCODA is to promote coconut production, utilisation and commercialisation.
“When we talk about production, that is where Rotary Club has come in today.
“A lot of coconut trees along our beaches are old and not performing the function that they are supposed to perform and that is why Rotary Club is coming in to build what we call green wall.
“When you look at Badagry to Ibeju-Lekki, there is this coastline which we call green wall and coconut is along this green wall.
“When you see this green wall, practically, they have collapsed because the coconuts trees are old and are going.
“That is what we a inaugurating today to rebuild the Atlantic green wall,” he said.
He commended the club for starting the initiative, adding that it would have greater impact on the society in the next five years.
“We are using this opportunity to call on non-governmental organisations and private sector to come to the aid of the Lagos State Government to build this wall back because government cannot do it alone.
“We are starting this exercise today with the private beaches, we will be going to other beaches.
“Here alone, we are planting 200 coconut seedlings in Oniru private beach and we will be extending to other beaches in the area,” he said.
In her remarks, the District Governor, Rotarian Omotunde Lawson, said that Rotary Club would continue to partner with the government to bring about service and development to the general public.
Lawson said that the partnership with the LASCODA was in line with one of the seven core pillars of the club which is protecting the environment.
“The importance, beauty and ambience of coconut cannot be over emphasised, as it will improve and provide means of livelihood to the people in this community.
“We are happy to be part of this great initiative in Lagos State,” she said.
Also, the Oniru of lruland, Oba Gbolahan Lawal, commended the initiative and implored the club to ensure that the coconut was properly maintained to reach its maturity stage.
Lawal represented by Chief Waisu Okoya, Baale of Itinri Community, in Victoria Island, urged them to extend the exercise to all other communities in the coastline.
Rotarian Olayinka Adeosun, the Assistant District Governor overseeing the activities of Rotary Club of Eko Atlantic, said a group of people within the community had been selected to maintain, monitor and nurture the crop. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma