Students join UNDP and Standard Chartered Bank in Tree Planting to Help Conserve the Environment
Inspired by public awareness on the social, economic and environmental benefits of trees in their neighbourhood, a good number of primary school students from Lusaka teamed up with UNDP and Standard Chartered Bank in a tree planting exercise on 7 June in celebration of World Environment Day.
Students from the Daina Kayimba Primary School were among those who helped to plant trees donated by the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (MLNREP) as part initiatives to help save the environment and the nationwide tree planting programme.
The joint effort by UNDP, Standard Chartered Bank in Zambia and the ‘United Nations Youth Association(YUNA),’ a local youth group culminated in the planting of more than 120 fruit bearing and non-fruit bearing trees to give shelter from the wind and rain and provide an interesting and soothing learning environment for children and the community.
The tree planting ceremony was attended by corporate executives from Standard Chartered Bank, including its Acting Manager, Mr. Kelvin Musama and the Chairman of the District Education Board as well as school teachers and community residents among others.
At the event, UNDP’s Deputy Country Director for Programme, Ms. Georgina Fekete encouraged Zambians to refrain from cutting down trees and plant more trees. “For each tree cut, plant four and take care of them until they mature,” she said.
According to the drivers of deforestation study, Zambia has approximately 50 million hectares of forest, with an estimated deforestation rate of 250,000 to 300,000 hectares per year.
When students from the Daina Kayimba Primary School were asked what would happen if we didn’t have trees, one of them said that the ‘soil would be consistently eroded’ and the other one said that ‘children will not have healthy and beautiful places to play and learn.’
“These young students represent Zambia’s large population of young people, with 45.4 % of persons below 15 years therefore, it is crucial to address young students on the importance of tree planting as a means of conserving the environment,” Fekete said.
“I will be in this school for the next five years so I will be able to see the trees grow to maturity” said one of the students who participated in the tree planting. The students were upbeat about their participation and thanked the UNDP and Standard Chartered Bank for involving them in the tree planting initiative.