In the last 10 years, a total of 7.3 million trees have been planted across Lagos State.
This came to the fore at the 2017 Annual Tree Planting exercise, where an additional 500,000 trees were planted, which increased the existing 6.8 million trees to 7.3 million.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, while speaking on the occasion, said the political will to protect the environment and promote healthy living remains unflinching.
According to him, it has been a decade of sustained commitment which has earned Lagos a national and global recognition.
“This year’s tree planting campaign with the theme ’‘Think Green, Plant Trees, Live Green’ holding in 10 different locations simultaneously within the Lagos metropolis, is similar to those of the last 10 years responsible for the success recorded in planting of 6.8 million trees in the state; as at today, a total of 6,834,938 trees have been planted state wide, to mark this year’s Tree Planting Day, we are adding another 500,000 trees which will be planted simultaneously in 78 locations across the State.
“We must remember that trees are essential to human existence as they provide food, shelter, remedy for ill health, source of energy, and also help to control storm-water runoffs, noise pollution and prevent desert encroachment, if we must continue to live in good health, planting of trees would not only be an option but a strategy that must be embraced by all,” he stated.
The Governor also enjoined citizens and corporate bodies to support the campaign, so as to mitigate the effects of climate change and make the environment a safe place for habitation.
“Planting of trees is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to preserve the mother earth and combat the ravaging effect of climate change,” Governor Ambode reiterated.
Governor Ambode stated that beyond the direct impact of the tree planting action, the step had resulted in employment generation for the growing youth population.
“In addition, 570 newly trained youths have been empowered to jump-start the greening programme at the Local Government level,” he said.
On his part, Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Samuel Adejare said the government remained steadfastly committed to placing Lagos State on the map of sustainable environment champions of the world.
Dr Adejare hinted that the state planted over 1.5 million trees in 2016 alone, and that the people remained the direct beneficiaries of the greening efforts.
“I hereby urge you to team up with the government and work for the realisation of its development agenda and sustainable goals, particularly as it relates to the reforms in the environment sector where the people are the direct beneficiaries of 27,500 new jobs, a cleaner state, and all-year-round drainage management for effective and efficient flood control, among others,” he said.
Best nurtured tree
Meanwhile, the Tutor General-Permanent Secretary, Education District 1 Dr Olufolayimika Ayandele, whose District was awarded for having the “Best Nurtured Tree,” expressed joy at the recognition accorded the District and schools under her watch.
The District also carted away awards in the “Principals category” while as teachers who ensured survival of trees in their schools were also recognised.