From Okwe Obi, Abuja
President and Founder of GivFree Africa, Ibrahim Garba Bala, has explained why he embarked on the planting of over 270 million economic and nutritional tees in ten African countries, saying the initiative would fortify the existing canopy of trees and the enhancement of carbon sink.
Bala, who addressed newsmen recently in Abuja, noted that upon completion, the exercise would expand aesthetic values of the ecosystem to local communities and create continental workforce against adverse effect of climate change.
He targeted two years for the project (2021-2022), but noted that if need be, the timeframe would be extended to ensure successful implementation of scheme.
He said: “We are into environmental and developmental programmes. In fact, we major in humanitarian services across the continent.
“Two goals of the SDG centre on environmental and also living on earth. Those goals actually got our attention. You know the environmental challenges the continent is facing today particularly in Nigeria.
“We are also within the belt where there is environmental challenges. We felt we should be part of the solution not just advocating solutions.
“And one of the efforts we made was finding our footings on the side we could practically be visible by planting trees across schools.
“But not just planting trees but looking into situations where we could motivate the younger generation.
“We took the project across schools and referred to it as ‘give tree to schools’. We want to plant nothing less than 270 million trees across the continent.
“We identified school because in the first place, because ifnyou need to succeed in planting trees you need a large number of people to be involved. Schools already have these people.
“Also, there is no age barrier in planting trees. We are planting trees that will add economic and nutritional value.
“We launched the programme. It started here in Nigeria and we are presently in ten African countries.
“So, you can imagine the number of people this particular programme is impacting.
“The human activity is already a threat to the existing trees. Trees are gift of nature, and by building cities you are reducing the gift of nature.
“We have proposed two years to complete the planting. That is 2021 and 2022. But we can extend it so long as our target is yet to be achieved.”
He, also, announced the unveiling of what he called ‘Nationwide Youth Volunteer Programme,’ to engage about 150,000 of them across the country.
The philanthropist explained that the gesture would curb youth restiveness and set them on the part of success.