August 5, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security has urged Sierra Leoneans to start planting more trees so that the country could regain its lost forests.
She was speaking on Wednesday as Sierra Leone joined other countries around the world to observe this year’s World Tree Planting Day, on the theme: “Plant Tik For Get Wata” [plant a tree to get water].
In observing the day, Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Environment Protection Agency, Guma Valley Water Company and other stakeholders facilitated the planting of 18, 000 hectares of trees at Mile 13.
Madam Marie Jalloh told her audience that if positive measures were not being taken by the people to protect the environment, difficulties would ensue, as she encouraged her compatriots to plant ten more trees after cutting down one.
“We are committed to plant trees and maintain the forests. We must reclaim our lost values by planting more trees to regain our lost forests areas,” she said.
She added that tree planting was part of the ministry’s activities in the Presidential Priority Initiative, but revealed that Sierra Leone ranked second in the world amongst countries that are prone to disaster.
Also, Minister of Water Resources, Momodu Maligie, recalled that the water shortage that hit the country brought about great awareness on the importance of tree planting and environmental protection. He noted that people must take responsibility and think positively to save the environment, adding, “We must do our best to sustain life.”
Ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) Member of Parliament representing Constituency 93, Hon. Dauda Kallon, pledged his constituents’ unconditional support to ensure that the exercise was a success. He observed that community people most times felt the pinch during water crises, and admonished the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and Environment, National Protected Area Authority and other stakeholders to discourage the idea of illegal sale of state lands, especially in the water catchment areas.
On her part, Executive Chairperson of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Haddijatou Jallow, said all hands were needed on deck to protect and conserve the environment. She announced that her office was willing to fund community youth-led projects on environmental protection.