By Emmanuel Edukugho
ADENIRAN Ogunsaya College of Education (AOCOED), Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos, marked the third anniversary of the tree planting day last Thursday – a day set aside by the Lagos State Government for celebration of Green Lagos and sustain environmental regeneration through planting of trees.
Chairman of the Governing Council, AOCOED, Mrs. Victoria Akran, said 15 trees were planted in the college whle 14 survived, “creating a greener Lagos State, decorating our environment and checking depletion of the Ozone layer.”
She asserted that in the next four years, the tree planting campaign will gain ground and we would have more trees to recover the ecosystem and get a green environment.
The commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, represented by an official, Mrs. Yemisi Ogundipe, recalled that the tree planting exercise was institutionalised on September 2, 2008 by the Governror of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) as a way of responding to the urgent need to mitigate the scourge of global warming and its attendant climate change. At the event, 250,000 trees were planted and July 14 of every year was declared tree planting day.
Saying that the theme for this year’s tree planting anniversary is “A tree for Life”, the idea is to “oblige all of us to plant at least a tree today and save lives and the planet earth from imminent doom.”
He disclosed that administration planted more than 3 million trees within its tenure. “Trees are sources of food for man and animals, they create atmosphere of beauty, absorb carbon emision, provide shade, reduce heat, noise and shield our properties from the vagaries of the weathers.’’
The Commisioner for Home Affairs, Mr. Oyinlomo Danmole, who represented Governor Babatunde Fashola, said this day (July 14) was set aside as a matter of deliberate policy to continuously sensitize our people on the importance of trees to the environment and the positive effects they have on the survival and general well-being of the people.
Fashola added: “When we started this advocacy for greening and tree planting, many who did not understand the great challenges that nature had in store for us, questioned the value of spending money on tree planting and preservation.
Apart from the economic activity and the thousands of jobs they have helped us to generate, they also constitute an important plank of our public health and preventive healthcare strategy in helping to depollute the air because more trees means more oxygen.”
Danmole later planted some trees accompanied by some principal officers of the college including the provost, Mr. Hakeem Ajose-Adeogun,the Registrar, Barrister Bola Disu and other academic and non-teaching staff.
The governor had re-asserted that it is not lawful for anybody to cut down any tree in Lagos without permission from the Lagos State Ministry of Environment.
He recalled that over the last 72 hours, “Our state has emerged from the devasting effects of an unprecedented rainfall that lasted not less than 16 hours.”
According to Fashola, “while we may allnot be able to determine precisely the role played by the trees we planted in limiting the damage and impact of the flood, the truth is that trees help to mitigate flooding and the combination of the strategies for mitigation and adaptation that we have employed” clearly ensured prompt drainage of the flood immediately the rains stopped.
Mrs. Bolanle Somoye, chairman Beautification and Landscaping Committee, AOCOED, said the college has raised 1,000 seedlings to support the tree planting project.