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Afforestation: EN-RUWASSA, UNICEF urge youth to plant trees

Young Nigerians, especially school children have been called upon to form the habit of planting trees in their school premises and around water sources in order to save our environment from degradation.

The youth were also urged to guard against indiscriminate waste disposal especially plastic wastes so as to save e environment from climate change and other viccissititudes of nature such as soil erosion and flooding.

The appeal was made by the Enugu State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, EN-RUWASSA in conjunction with United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, in an occasion to mark the 2024 World Environment Day, WED, held at Government Technical College, GTC, Enugu on Wednesday.

Tree planting is believed to absorb carbon dioxide which is a major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere capable of protecting the ozone layer and to a large extent increase the amount of vegetation and green areas on earth in order to prevent desert encroachment.

Speaking at the occasion, which marked actual tree planting by the students of GTC, Enugu, the Managing Director of EN-RUWASSA, Mrs Chinonye Nnabuchi said that by continuously planting trees, by 2027, it is expected that more than one million youth and community volunteers across Nigeria will be actively engaged in “climate action,” noting that they will thus plant at least one million trees around water sources, school premises, primary health centres, PHCs and public places.

Nnachuchi said: ” the programme is a flag-off of the campaign on tree planting by young people in school premises, around water sources, Primary Health Centres and public places.”

She noted that UNICEF has been on the vanguard of advocating a greener environment and had thus been supportive of EN-RUWASSA to ensure sane and safe environment in Enugu State.

“UNICEF Nigeria has kick-started efforts in mobilising young people to take action against climate crisis,” she said.

Dr. Ude Ebere of the Nigeria Society of Environment, NSE, urged the youth and Nigeria to guard against environnental degradation by imbibing a positive habit that will affect the future positively.

“It is all about changing our habit so that it will not negatively affect us in future. WE have to protect our environment now to save the future. Flooding, erosion and the rest we cause the Environment to be affected.

“NSE advocates for the protection of the Environment. We should all do something in our own little way to protect the environment. We should not dispose waste indiscriminately,” she implored.

On her part, Mrs Chika Mba, SSA on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, to Gov. Peter Mbah, frowned against indiscriminate waste disposal which harms the Environment. ” Lack of sanitation will destroy our environment. We should not dispose water proofs anyhow. Anything nylon should be disposed properly so that it will not affect the environment,” Mba said.

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