The World Environment Day 2019 has come and gone and thanks to God for the massive success that was recorded on this event. But our mandate and resolve to be a solution provider to environmental and climatic problems is stronger than ever.
As an organisation, the plan was to plant 100 trees within the metropolis of Ibadan but through the power of strategic partnership which has proven to be a good tool that is needed to solve global challenges, the number of trees increased by another 100.
Along the line of the event, we had to send a letter to the Oyo Ministry of Environment and Water Resources to help us with suitable location and types of trees to plant, but they found the event and idea as a great one and decided to bring more organizations on board and also amplify the event to make it more memorable.
The Partners that we walked through the path of success together includes the Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, WestAfrica ENRG, Oyo State Management of Open and Public Spaces (MOPS) and Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP).
Two species of ornamental trees were agreed on and a reputable garden was contacted to supply us with the total number of trees and a percentage discount was given.
The event was earlier planned to take place on the 5th of June but because of the public holiday that were placed on that same date, the tree planting and sensitization exercise was shifted to the 3rd of June.
Volunteers were definitely needed for the success of the event and sincere gratitude goes to volunteers of REES Africa, RecycleGARB Foundation, Save the Planet, Agro-allied CDS group of the Ibadan-North Local Government, Sustainable Development Group (SDG) CDS group of the Ibadan-North Local Government (Both CDS groups are of the National Youth Service Corps), some members of staff of WestAfrica ENRG, Staffs and gardeners from the Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and also individuals that came to offer their own support.
The Route for the tree planting and sensitization was from Mokola to Dugbe (close to the famous cocoa house). The holes in which the trees would be planted had been dug already the eve to the event.
The flag off ceremony started at about 11am that day and it was attended by a number of dignitaries from the Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment, and also the committee that was placed in charge of the event. The flag off also included that the Permanent Secretary to the Governor on Environment plant a tree alongside all partnering organizations and that was done in a space provided in front of the Ministry building.
All buses moved in a convoy to the venue and sensitization was done along the route through the use of public address systems. Everyone got to the route at almost the same time and planting started almost immediately. The planting and sensitization was carried out simultaneously and it lasted for over two hours and also had everyone walk from Mokola down to Dugbe.
In about three hours, the whole trees has been successfully planted and watered, and the event wrapped up around 3pm and it was a huge success.
For the post planting maintenance, aside from the fact that it’s rainy season and there would be constant supply of water, the top official of the MOPS has agreed that their agency would take charge of maintaining the trees so the aim of the event would be achieved.
For Lagos it was more about impact as we had initially planned to plant around industrial areas, but the soil texture and lack of planting space killed that plan. We were however allocated space by our partners, Lagos State Parks and Garden Agency, in a community in Ipaja Lagos called Ikola.
For this community we had initially planned to plant 100 trees but decided to challege ourselves and tripple it. The community which has a rather difficult clay soil was set to be a challenge but with the support of the Baale (community head) and his cheifs and members of the community we were able to achieve much.
Based on our understanding of the community, they preferred fruit seeds and seedlings rather than shrubs. So while most of our Ibadan team members were at the interview with the Permanent secretary in Ibadan, the Lagos team with the support of very passionate Youth Corp members went into Ikola to fulfill the mandate of 300 Seeds we started a “PLANT A SEED” challenge. However due to the public holidays, half the seeds we expected did not arive. However we had a donation from our biggest partner for 50 Casia shrubs and kind individuals donated 100 moringa seeds and few stalks of bitter leaf.
So with over 150 shrubs and seeds we indeed greened Ikola, planting the shrubs along the set back of the road, painstakenly digging through the hard-baked clay soil to get to drop the plants is something that can only happen when passion is involved. We also planted the seeds within the community and took the same pain to water them
Without the help of the community members we never would have succeeded even with the 150, we however promised them that we would be back with the remaining 150 seeds to finish what we started.
We were fetted by the commuity cheifs and the Baale who promised that they will ensure the seeds and shrubs are watered and nourished.