*Every student should plant a tree – Audu Ogbeh
By Olajide Fashikun
Britarch Schools in Abuja on Saturday celebrated her community tree-planting and nature care event with so much funfare and aesthetics where pupils, students, government officials and some celebrities participated in the activity.
Around 250 pre-school, kindergarten, primary and secondary school folks took part in the School Tree Day. We want it as a culture for our students to learn how to plant and care for the seedlings they grow. Schools Tree Day is celebrated in July.
Britarch School’s head prefect, Mr Aaron Bandado in his admonition said, “schools Tree Day can mark the beginning of a long-term environmental programme to make every pupil and student know we have a duty to our environment. Engaging the students and their parents in a fun, hands on activity can reinforce our environmental, mathematics, science and creative arts learning or simply contribute to creating beautiful school grounds.”
Mrs Chichi Philips-Orioha, the Director of Britarch Schools in her opening remarks said, “we feel strongly as a policy to make our children imbibe this culture of joining the world to celebrate the ‘plant a tree’ programme. We are happy to have been able to get this driven out. Every year, we want the Britarch community to celebrate the protection of our environment.”
Mr Segun Akinniranye who represented the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh said in his remark, “this is a great initiative. Every student nationwide needs to be encouraged to adopt planting a tree and sustaining the plant to grow.”
We commend the Britarch Schools for this wonderful concept. I also urge you to make it an annual culture imbibed in the students to know that the protection of our environment is everybody’s business. Our nation looks forward to a time when every Nigerian would be involved in this process.”
Mrs Data Hayes who represented the Minister for Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said, “National Tree Day aims to inspire, educate and recruit Nigerians especially the young population to actively care for our unique land and create future generations of committed environmental custodians. This is one of the silent visions of this administration.
“We are happy that your school has been in the forefront of this campaign. We hope every school in the nation will imbibe the culture of regularly planting a tree to make our environment more friendly.”
In her comments, five-time Olympian and Executive Director (Technical) of the Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc (NSDFI), Chief Mary Onyali said, “this is supposed to be a family activity. Trees truly are the lungs of the planet, giving us fresh clean air, storing carbon, providing shade and habitat for wildlife. The benefits are seemingly endless. Before Climate Change was the “hot” topic in the environmental debate, the loss of biodiversity was internationally recognised as being the major threat facing the future of life on our planet.
As sports personalities, we support the campaign for plants to help to us combat climate change by locking up carbon, but there are more ways that native plants can help address the impacts of climate change.”
She espoused the gains of parents supporting their wards to actively take to sports and be part of the one million generation that we (former sports brands) are hoping to bring up in the next three years in various communities across the nation.”
This is an opportunity to do something positive for your local environment and community. Let us use tree planting to reconnect with nature. As for us in the nation’s sports industry, we are full in this.”
By this year next year, I will join in the movement to get about 3.8 million trees planted. It is possible. Every child below the age of 10 can be recruited to participate in this campaign. Thank God, we have the Ministers of Agriculture and Education here. I wish the minister of Youth and Sports was taken along,” she said to a rousing applause.