...tasks every child to plant a tree to mark birthday, targets one million trees annually
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has charged citizens and residents of the State on protection and preservation of the environment for a sustainable future.
Obaseki gave the charge when he received the Commissioner for Urban and Physical Planning, Isoken Omo, members of the Ministry, environmentalists and school children, who embarked on an 8.5km walk to mark the 2023 World Habitat Day.
The walk kicked off from the Edo State Secretariat, Sapele Road, through Ring Road, to Oba Market, Siluko Road, Oliya Market, Akenzua, Airport Road, and terminated at the Government House, Benin City.
Receiving them after the walk at the Government House, the governor charged parents to plant trees for their children to celebrate their birthdays, noting that if one million children plant trees in a year, the State would have successfully planted one million trees.
He said, “Every child must plant a tree every year to commemorate their birthdays. If we have one million children under the age of 10 to 12 years old in Edo State and if they plant one tree each, we can boast of one million trees a year.
“We need to clean, green and restore the environment to how God has created it in the first place or else we, our children, and those that will succeed us on earth will suffer from our negligence.”
Obaseki continued: “I want to congratulate all that have been able to complete the 8.5km walk, as the significance of the walk is to let people know how important and significant the habitat is to mankind. We must make the habitat and environment sustainable for us.
“We all have seen what is going on, particularly with climate change. There is no greater evidence to show or let us know that we can't take our habitat and environment for granted. With the negligence of our land and environment, you see what we are going through in terms of flood, erosion, and landslide. We need to do something urgently to save it or very soon it will be difficult for us to live in. Our continued deforestation will cause our rainforest to become savannah.
“What we are doing is not a joke but a very serious issue. We have taken the issue of the environment for granted for too long and we are losing it fast. As a government, we need support to green the environment, we will continue to give the charge but need our community, professionals in the built environment, teachers, and government workers among others to help us raise the alarm that we can't continue to operate this way.”
He added, “Our responsibility is to fight back, to clean and green the environment by doing the right thing. We are very concerned that is why we are working on our 30-year Urban and Regional Master Plan which will be legislated into law beyond this administration, showing them the roadmap on what they should do to protect the environment, habitat and failure makes it unlawful.”
On her part, the Commissioner for Housing, Urban and Physical Planning, Isoken Omo, said, “Edo is known as a clean place that needs to be protected as any negligence of the environment will have a negative impact and effect on the people.”
She added, “World Habitat Day is celebrated every first Monday in October, and it's a time to pause and look at our habitat if this is where we want to be. We need to do the right thing to keep the habitat to enable us to live comfortably with it. What we do with our habitat is important and we need to collaborate to make the habitat habitable.”