By Ikeugonna Eleke
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), a non government organization has championed the planting of 3,600 trees in two communities in Anambra State.
The Programme Development Officer of the group, Mr Joshua Dazi, said the exercise was geared towards fighting erosion, as well as aimed at ensuring that recent work on two erosion sites by NEWMAP was sustained.
The exercises which were carried out simultaneously last weekend in Enugwu-Ukwu Community in Njikoka Local Government Area and Nnewichi Community in Nnewi South Local Government Area, were done at the forest conservation zones of both community.
Dazi who conducted journalists round the scene of the exercise, said: ‘These two areas are places where the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) intervened on erosion ravaged areas in the community, and as you can see, there are houses here that were saved from being destroyed by erosion.
‘As you know, the NEWMAP Programme in Anambra and other states who were beneficiaries has come to an end, and we were just thinking of how we could sustain the work done here now that NEWMAP is no longer here, and we thought the best thing to do was to engage in the afforestation of the areas, because trees have a way of holding the soil.
‘We are planting a total of 3,600 trees here today. While 2,000 are being planted in Enugwu-Ukwu; 1,600 trees are being planted in Nnewi Ichi.
‘The trees when they eventually grow, will serve a dual purpose. As they help in holding the soil and stemming erosion, they will also provide income for people here when they start to bear fruit because all the trees are economic trees.’
Fides witnessed a large turn out by youths of both communities who took it upon themselves to plant the trees which were provided by the NCF.
Six species of economic trees were planted around the erosion prone areas of both communities. They include; ogbono, breadfruit, cashew, gmelina, udala and sour soup trees.