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Super highway:Cross River State Govt. to replace 28,000 lost trees with 140,000 new ones

Super highway:Cross River State Govt. to replace 28,000 lost trees with 140,000 new ones

….as DR. AYADE FLAGS OFF TREE PLANTING EXERCISE

The Cross River State government has disclosed its plan to replace the 28,000 trees lost as part of the debushing process for the super highway, with 140,00 trees, in its quest to mitigate climatic change. In the same vein, the state government said the measure has become very necessary, so as to ensure the state remains clean and green.

Disclosing this in calabar, while flagging off tree planting exercise in the state capital conducted by the Task Force on Tree Planting in collaboration with the ministry of Climate Change and Forestry was the wife of the state governor.

The first lady of Cross River state, Dr Linda Ayade, stated that the state will replace every one tree fallen down with five tree, thereby bring the total number of trees to be replaced by Cross River State to 140,000 trees under the exercise and that the target of the task force on tree planting is to ensure the state replaces the 28,000 trees with 140,000 trees and that the state is determined to exceed the expectations, though this does not reduce the target of 1,000,000.

The Governor’s wife further stated that it is the duty of every Cross Riverian to protect the tropical rainforest that God has graciously given to Cross River State by planting trees in order to mitigate the effects of climate change as protecting the tropical rain forest is one way to mitigate climate change.

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony held at the Millennium Park, Calabar, the wife of the Governor expressed delight to know that 98% of the people present at the ceremony were women, which she said was an indication that women have taken charge as the best managers, to kick-start the tree planting at the premises of the State House of Assembly, adding that women can always do things better as God created the woman to help the man organize himself better.

Dr. Ayade stated that the purpose of the gathering which she described as very significant is to kick-start the tree planting in Cross River State adopted by the state Governor, Senator Prof. Ben Ayade for urban aforestation. She disclosed that the super highway is a 275km highway cutting across Bekwarra LGA to Bakassi LGA and that the state lost approximately 28,000 trees in the course of constructing the super highway, adding that in line with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) recommendation for the super highway, ‘every one tree that is fallen should be replaced with two trees’.

Dr. Ayade opined that climate change is a reality with evidences being seen in streams drying up, people becoming poor farmers as a result of the drop in farm productivity, scorching heat, depletion of aquatic creatures, amongst others, adding that we have to take steps to protect ourselves from the consequences of climate change by planting trees to mitigate the effects of climate change as it affects us and the rest of the world.

She identified a major challenge confronting the state which is that of illegal logging of trees, which according to her is the reason why the state governor has to set up an anti-deforestation committee with a woman, Mrs. Florence Omon Bassey Inyang as the chairman in order to stop the evil practice of logging, adding that it is not something that the chairman and the committee members can do alone, it requires the co-operation of all to protect the forest and nurture the trees planted.

She charged all the women of Cross River State, young men and all Cross Riverians to watch out for the trucks that carry stolen woods out of the state. She encouraged them to apprehend and hand them over to the police adding that, for every truck that anyone successfully arrests and hands over to the police, there is a reward of N500,000 to be given to such a person.

She used the occasion to thank and acknowledge all present, especially Rt. Hon. Fred Osim and the female members of the House who were present, former members of the State EXCO present and women groups, CROWEI, amongst others.

Earlier in her speech,the chairman of task force on planting and immediate past commissioner of women affairs, organiser of the program, Mrs Stella Odey, said the committee is to sustain the tree planting campaign of the government as the exercise is an important program for development of the state.

To this end, she charged Cross Riverians to continue to plant tress so as to mitigate climate change and ensure Cross River State remains clean and green. She also revealed plans by the committee to embark on a campaign to schools to encourage tree planting.

*Photo: Gov Ayade

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