The Green Sahara Farms in collaboration with the Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA) and Sterling One Foundation Agroforestry for Climate Action Project (SACAP) have committed to the planting of 10,000 trees in about 24 unity colleges. This action was spurred by the urge to reduce the impact of climate change such as flooding and desertification over the country. Mr. Mike Magaji, the President General of USOSA, at the inauguration ceremony of the tree planting at the Federal Government Girls College, Bwari, stated that it is necessary to ensure inculcation of the culture of environmental participation through youths.
Mr. Magaji, added that the act of including young children would help them grow up to learn and uphold the values of enabling a safe and clean environment while securing the interest of the country and the environment. One of the means of ensuring protection of the Nigerian environment, according to Mr. Magaji, is through tree planting – a motive which would be carried out in 24 unity colleges in the country. The tree planting project is an introduction of an environmentally friendly program.
Tree planting would curb desertification and flooding.
Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA) is partnering with two other organizations to plant trees for protection of schools and children while assuring the future of the environment. Recognition of the importance of the environment and measures of preserving it is significant for the awareness of every Nigerian to efficiently curb desertification in the north and flooding in the south – effects of climate change. The project has its focus on only six states according to geopolitical zones but would be extended to through effective monitoring.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Green Sahara Farms, Mr. Suleiman Dikwa, also affirmed that safest way to protect the environment was through students. He therefore urged the Federal Ministry of Education to engage the tree planting into the curriculum of schools to awaken the awareness of students towards building a cleaner and safer environment. This is necessary because one of the importance of tree planting is that it contributes its quota to the nutritional growth of the people.
New initiative aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 13.
Mrs. Olapeju Ibekwe, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sterling One Foundation, urged the students of Unity Schools to help grow the trees planted in the schools to fight against climate change. Mrs. Ibekwe emphasized that Climate change has become an issue of the global pandemic, therefore everyone is enjoined to join hands together to address it. Meanwhile, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, commended the initiative and described it as one of the importance of agroforestry and provision of mitigation benefits.
At the inauguration of the tree planting at Bwari, the Deputy Director of Education Support Services in the Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Uche Udoji, stated that the initiative of the nutrition tree planting would ensure provision of many environmental, social and economic benefits useful to learners, teachers and the schools. He added that no one is oblivious of the threat climate change poses to the planet and the Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13) which proclaims climate action and protection of lives.
Minister of education commended the timeliness of the initiative.
The Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13) encourages everyone to take action towards fighting against climate change and its negative effects. Adamu further lauded the timeliness and aptness of the initiative in respect to the newly introduced “Environmental Clubs” in schools for the exact purpose of adaptation to climate change and Disaster risk reduction. The environmental clubs would ensure provision of a platform for tree planting, recycling scheme, gardening and clean-up around the school, the minister included.