By Byron Mutingwende
The Ruwa Local Board has set a target of planting over 1 million trees in five years, Benam Nyawo, the local authority’s environmental health officer has said.
Nyawo revealed the plan at the belated commemoration of the National Tree Planting Day at the Chiremba Recreational Grounds in Ruwa.
“Our plan is to plant in excess of 1 million trees in five years. For the entire 52 weeks of 2020, we want to also that every week we will hold a community awareness campaign on the protection of the environment.
“We will embark on clearing drains to combat malaria outbreaks and flooding. The other important plan is sustainable waste management focusing on reusing, recycling and reducing waste to energy initiatives. For example, compositing, biogas production and electricity generation,” Nyawo said.
The Ruwa Local Board is working hard in terms of climate change mitigation. Every year, the local authority plants trees so as to reduce carbon in the atmosphere and prevent desertification.
Mr. Nyawo said the idea is to create a sustainable and resilient community where in the future there will be less environmental shocks like droughts and flooding. Today, the local authority planted fruit trees in the open space just outside the Chiremba Recreational Grounds. Besides providing shade, fruit trees also have a nutritional value.
In planting trees, the local authority is answering to Sustainable Development Gaols on Sustainable Cities as well as mitigation of climate change, alleviation of poverty and advancement of gender equality. The move ensures that future generations will benefit from such initiatives and carry on with the same for other generations to come after them. There was an emphasis that the tree planting exercise should not be a once-off event so as to benefit the economy.
“We want to plant many trees taking cognisance of what type of trees to be planted in certain areas. We want to protect our wetlands so we can’t plant trees with high evaporation rates like gum trees on wetlands. Schools should ensure that students appreciate and study trees as well as planting indigenous trees.
“As the local authority, we will support community members that have tree nurseries by providing them with water and identifying areas on which to expand their projects,” Nyawo added.
Kizito Chivafa, the Councillor for Ward 6 in Ruwa pledged to dedicate most of his time during his tenure at the local authority to planting trees. His counterpart, Gladman Mbire, the Councillor for Ward 5 said the move was meant to send the right message to the residents to emulate the initiative. He also emphasised that the initiative should not be confined to the National Tree planting Day. Grace Chekecheke, the Councillor for Ward 4 said trees protect the infrastrure like schools and buildings from the wind.
Hamudiwamwe Dera, the Councillor for Ward 8 in ZimRe Park, which falls under Ruwa said they have a collective vision to achieve a leafy Ruwa community by 2025.
“It is important to note that in areas like Greendale, the property value appreciates because of trees. Trees also have an aesthetical value. Planting fruit trees also works towards ending hunger as espoused in the SDGs,” Dera said.