Council and Friends of the Environment last week launched a programme to green Harare by planting trees along major city roads and in cemeteries.
It started with planting of trees along Seke Road from Maruta Shopping Centre to Mvurachena. Councillor Chris Mbanga (Ward 8), while reading the Mayor’s speech during a launch ceremony held at Maruta Shopping Centre in Hatfield, said that he was pleased to note that the City had citizens and businesses with a passion for the environment.
“Our environment is our collective responsibility. You and I have a role to play in preserving and shaping the environment that we live in… I am told you are now moving into our cemeteries to plant more trees so that the resting places for our dear departed become respectable places where we bury and not dump our relatives, friends and family,” said Mbanga.
“The old tree replacement program that we have begun today will see the cutting down of the old trees citywide that have become a public and property danger. Harare is a safe and liveable city and such we take pride in making the city environment more attractive,” added Mbanga.
Francis Tamburayi who was representing Friends of the Environment said that his organisation was happy to be partnering local authorities countrywide in the planting of trees on the country’s major highways.
“As an organisation we are aiming to plant 500 million trees in the country by the year 2026. So far we have created 14 nurseries around the country and we are aiming to establish seven more nurseries this year. Our target is to have 100 nurseries dotted around the country which will enable us to reach our 2026 target,” said Tamburayi.
Friends of the Environment is an environmental organisation that was started in 2010 with the mandate of re-greening the country through the planting of trees. The organisation also holds annual walkathons that are aimed at raising environmental awareness.
According to the organisation’s information brochure 330 000 hectares of trees are destroyed annually in Zimbabwe (1 ha = 1600 trees), “At this rate, Zimbabwean forests will be completely wiped out in 52 years (Forestry Commission 2012).”