By Emmanuel Edukugho
Because trees absorb rainfall and prevent flooding, Lagos was spared the floods that swept through the nation last year, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola said in a keynote address at the 5th anniversary of the Tree Planting Campaign which took place all over the state.
According to him, “ it was not by coincidence, it was result of our collective efforts at preserving nature to prevent her wrath.”
The theme of 2013 campaign is ‘Green Peace,’ in recognition of the fact that the absence of green, especially trees, is a threat to the survival of all creatures which depend on oxygen while green leaves are often used to signify peace.
Fashola said, “We need trees to absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and prevent people from suffocating”.
The governor explained that trees are germane to human existence, saying they are a direct and indirect source of food for man and animals.
“The absence of greens results in vegetal degradation, impoverished ecosystem and decreased biological productivity that lead to food shortage, ill heath and lower per capita income – all situations we want to avoid in Lagos.”
He disclosed that since the planting exercise was launched in 2008 with the target to plant one million trees in 10 years, “we have successfully planted over 4 million trees in just six years.” He attributed the achievement to the people of Lagos State who embraced the tree planting initiative.
The Provost of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Otto/Ijanikin, Mr. W.O. Bashorun, on behalf of the governor, launched the 2013 Tree Planting Campaign in the college. The occasion was attended by representatives of the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, Commissioner for Home Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Oyinlomo Danmole, traditional rulers, Registrar of the College, Mr. Bola Disu, College Librarian, Mrs. Oluwole, Bursar, Mr. Ipaye, Deans, Directors of Schools, Heads of Department, academic and non-academic staff, and students.
The Provost said the launch was symbolic because as human beings, a nation, communities, religious groups and individuals, we need to show discipline in our relationship with our environment.