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Fashola Leads 2012 Tree Planting Campaign In Lagos
…Urges every household to plant a tree

Jul 14, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Saturday led the fifth edition of the annual Tree Planting campaign at the Odi- Olowo/ Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area charging every resident to set a new target where every house in Lagos must have a tree in front or at its back.

The State Governor, who spoke at the Under Bridge Near Empire Hotel, Agege Motor Road, venue of the Campaign, taking place simultaneously across the State with the theme, "Plant a Tree for a better Climate" reiterated his call that everyone must take upon himself the task of policing the environment and ensuring that no one is allowed to cut down a tree without showing the permit to do so.

He said global warming and climate change is real and the world is also changing hence the people cannot afford but change with it, stating that what it requires is for everyone to embrace new adaptation methods and strategies.

He said the State Government has exceeded its projection on tree planting since the exercise started five years ago, adding that this has become imperative because trees act as a protection for neighbourhoods and against natural disasters.

The Governor noted that last year on the occasion of the commemoration of the tree planting day, it rained heavily but this year's edition had not witnessed any heavy rainfall which is a reflection of the changing and revolving state of the world.

Explaining that globally, the world has also experienced extreme weather and rainfall, Governor Fashola noted that in the last 24 hours over 50,000 people had been displaced in Japan just as of recent, places like Mississippi and Newcastle had experienced the adverse impact of Climate Change.

Governor Fashola said in the aftermath of the heavy rainfall of July 10 last year which resulted in flooding of some areas like some parts of Lekki, Arigbanla, Agege, Idi- Araba, the State Government went to work in some of the areas.

The outcome, he said, is that the solutions put in place have made much needed impact and are working such that there are no floods anymore in places like Lekki, Arigbanla, Agege and Idi- Araba.

Specifically on the recent erosion challenges in some parts of the State, Governor Fashola said government is aware of the plight of people residing in the Alpha Beach area and is coming to their aid. He urged them to ensure that before the government comes they should nurture a tree and protect it.

Explaining that the protective value of trees and plants is not limited to any area or social class, the Governor said in recognition of the necessity atime for trees to be moved and transplanted without getting killed, the state government acquired a transplanter which can remove a tree irrespective of its size and transplant in any desired location without any harm to the tree.

Governor Fashola also commended the efforts of the environmental ambassadors like former General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Reverend Wilson Badejo, top actor, Prince Jide Kosoko and landscape Architect, Miss Faderera Williams for the wonderful role they are playing in propagating the message of Climate Change and protection of the environment.

He also gave kudos to the former Commissioner for Environment, Dr Muiz Banire and the former Permanent Secretary in the Office of Environment, Dr (Mrs) Titi Anibaba for midwiving the conception of the tree planting campaign exercise with him.

Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello said trees also reduce the greenhouse effect by shading houses and office buildings and also reduces the need for air conditioning by up to 30 percent which in turn reduces the amount of fossil fuels burnt to produce electricity.

He informed that the 2012 exercise is taking place simultaneously in so many locations throughout the State, adding that to underscore the importance of the campaign, members of the State Executive Council, members of the national and State Assemblies, royal fathers, captains of industry, religious leaders, members of educational institutions and others have been mobilised to be part of this event.

He informed that this year, the types of trees to be planted are Ashoka(Police type), Ashoka (Hands up), Ficus(yellow) and Melaina adding that the trees have been chosen for site specifications.

In his message of goodwill, ace actor Prince Jide Kosoko who is also an Ambassador for the Environment said everyone must realize the importance of imbibing the culture of planting trees.

He added that the fact that a resident is not a property owner does not take away anything from the necessity for everyone to be ready to plant a tree because for those who might not know, it is the people who stand to benefit most when they plant trees.

Also speaking, another Ambassador of the Environment and landscape architect, Miss Faderera Williams said with the giant strides already recorded by Lagos State in the tree planting campaign exercise neighbouring states are coming to learn.

He said now is the time for everyone to make a change in their respective areas and individual homes, urging everyone present at the ceremony to take the message home to their neighbours on why it is important to plant a tree today.

Prizes were also distributed to students who distinguished themselves in the "Me and My Tree Competition" with Miss Adeleye Oluwatoyin of State Senior High School, Alimosho placing third, Master Lara Promise of Vetland Senior Secondary School, Ifako- Ijaiye came second while Master Nwafor Chinoso of Kadara Junior Grammar School, Ebute- Metta came first.

In the teachers category, Mr Samuel Adeseye of State Senior High School, Alimosho emerged third, Mrs Mariam Akinlade of Vetland Senior Secondary School, Ifako- Ijaiye was second and Mr Oladosu Adebayo of Kadara Junior Grammar School, Ebute Metta emerged winner.

The ceremony was graced by the members of the State Executive Council including the Special Adviser to the Governor on the Environment, Dr Taofeek Folami and Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr(Mrs) Yewande Adeshina, members of the State House of Assembly like Hon Funmilayo Tejuosho and Hon Kabir Lawal and Chairman of Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area, Hon Adeyemi Alli.

The Governor in company of the members of the State Executive Council and other dignitaries at the event later planted a tree to commemorate the 2012 tree planting exercise.


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