Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State, on Sunday, said his administration has flagged off mass planting of trees across the 181 communities in the state.
He said the tree planting will serve as a major step to prevent further destruction of communities by erosion menace.
Soludo, represented by the State Head of Service (HOS), Barr. Mrs Okwy Theodora Igwegbe, flagged off the exercise at Prof. Dora Akuyilli Women Development Centre Awka, during the 2022 World Environment Day, celebration with the theme; “ONLY ONE EARTH”
Speaking further, Igwegbe said every Anambarians must plant at least ten trees annually.
She warned against bush burning, barging of wastes, reckless/uncontrolled excavation, deforestation and indiscriminate building of structures, saying offenders will be sanctioned or imprisoned.
She urged citizens to report quickly any active erosion before it become serious issue.
It is in the light of the above that the State Environment Commissioner, Engr. Felix Odumegwu, urged Ndi Anambra to eschew any form of deforestation and embrace afforestation in order to restore the ecosystem.
The Commissioner noted that to sustain the environment one must key into the state government’s initiative of promoting healthy environmental activities in the State.
According to him, the tree planting programme under his watch, is tag; “Operation One House Two Trees.
He said that the theme of this year Day ‘Only One Earth”, aimed to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystem in Anambra and to raise awareness on the urgent need to safeguard natural habitats.
He noted that the greatest problem of the environment is erosion and soil degradation while calling on all to desist from activities that would shrink the landmass.
He charged traditional rulers, market leaders and youth leaders to assist the government in the fight against the menace by quickly reporting any active erosion site in their various areas for prompt actions. He also announced that the state is currently having over 1,000 erosion sites.
While commending governor Soludo on its numerous policies which are eco-friendly, the Environment Commissioner charged indigenes and non-indigenes to be more pragmatic with issues affecting their immediate environment.
In a paper presentation a Senior Lecturer, Department of Environmental Health Science, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma Obiano, who spoke on the topic; Only One Earth, Only One Anambra: The Imperative of Rational Innovation Strategies for Sustainable Environmental Management in Anambra State, said as a result of the erosion menace, land was becoming scarce and expensive in the state.
He noted that about 70 percent of the communities in the state are currently been affected by the menace.
He urged the governor to appoint Special Advisers and Senior Special Assistants on Environment, a Special Environmental Resource Protection Law, a Joint Action Committee on Environment (JACE) and more Environmental Health Officers, to help achieve the target of the programme.
Obiano urged the media also to disseminate information about the environment in a possible and easiest way for better understanding by the masses.
The Paradise News gathered that the World Environment Day is commemorated on the 5th of June every year.