Walkathon attracts over 50 participants
By Liberty Mutamba
OVER 50 people from Gwanda last Thursday participated in a 16km Walkathon, which was
held in commemoration of the National Tree Planting Day.
Zimbabwe set aside the first Saturday of every December as the National Tree Planting Day
(NTPD) to curb the rise in deforestation and rampant veld fires that raze down forests.
The Matabeleland South 16km walkathon from the Gwanda CBD to Sabiwa Secondary
School was a symbol that citizens are keen to see the vegetation revived and well catered for.
Friends of the Environment (FOTE), Environmental Management Agency (EMA), Nyaradzo
and several organisations partnered in contributing to the success of the walkathon under the
theme A Tree today forests tomorrow".
Gwanda District Schools Inspector, Sydney Sibanda, cited the importance of the day while
speaking to participants who participated in the walk.
Planting trees in this school will be a benchmark and important in afforestation not only to
the school but it will also ensure our societys ecosystem is revived from all the predicaments
that we face such as veld fires and deforestation. It is my wish that we cultivate the habit of
planting trees said,” said the District Schools Inspector.
Forestry Commission Provincial Manager, Bekezela Tshuma, stressed out the importance of
planting trees as the nation targets at least 25 million plants by year end.
As the Forestry Commission, we are here to save our environment that is slowly losing at
least five thousand trees annually.
“People clear land for agricultural activities, settlement expansion and mining activities have
been a big let down to maintaining trees. We have patterned with Nyaradzo, Gwanda Share
Ownership Trust, FOTE and several organisations in greening our environment. We have a
lucrative nursery at Bethel and we also urge people not to tire of planting trees in their
homesteads and in the fields, he said.
The Director for Economic Affairs and Investment Matabeleland South, Richmond Ncube,
reading the Provincial Minister Abednico Ncube’s speech, said the Government would not
tire in educating people about trees.
We cannot mitigate the global warming without having the habit of planting trees. As the
Government, we urge farmers, residents to practise agroforestry. Trees have an important role
as they bring oxygen, beautify the environment as well as feed wild animals. The
Government will support all organisations working to achieve 500million trees by 2030, in
line with the nations vision to attain an upper middle income society by 2030,” Ncube said.
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