Raphael Ede, Enugu
Against desertification and ever changing climate some communities in Enugu state under the platform of ‘Greater Okpanku’ communities in Aninri LGA, have embarked on trees planting in their various communities.
They said the tree planting was not only for environmental protection but were also for economic emancipation of their communities.
Speaking during the flag-off of tree planting project, Thursday, the Chairman of Greater Okpanku Leaders of Thought, Chief Paul Ogbonna said it was the first time in the history of Okpanku that such decision was taken to have an organised tree planting campaign.
Ogbonna said with the tree planting, their communities stood a chance of protecting their soil which he said was already being washed away with possible erosion in the near future.
“Secondly, the economic trees that have aged and those ones felled could now be replaced. The fruits constitute a strong source of revenue to individuals, families and nation.
“What we are doing is to replicate what is obtainable in other nations of the world and reinforce our believe in the restoration of our eco-system and make our world a better place to live in,” Ogbonna said.
The community leader added that it was also to create a new wealth base for the people and safeguard the future of the children.
He disclosed that the communities had banned felling of trees in the forest.
“We will no longer tolerate any further violation of the law banning felling of trees and we are today empowering the Greater Okpanku Neighbourhood Association to apprehend those who might decide to fell trees in our forests from today,” Ogbanna reiterated.
He stressed that the tree planting was going to be continuous exercise and urged his people not to uproot any of the planted trees.
Traditional rulers of the two autonomous communities, HRH Igwe Prof. Sampson Ukpabi of Ekoli and HRH Igwe Reginald Chukwu of Okpanku, who both performed flag-off the tree planting, cautioned against tree felling in the communities, adding that the communities initiated the idea of the planting on their own conviction.