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World Vision leads 3,000 tree-planting drive


Kamohelo Makhofola

In commemoration of the International Day of Forests, World Vision International Lesotho (WVIL) orchestrated a profound Pre-National Tree Planting Day celebration on March 21.

This occasion, held at Ha Khabo, Matelile, in Mafeteng, featured the planting of approximately 3,000 trees.

The event garnered distinguished attention with the esteemed presence of Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, setting a remarkable stage for the forthcoming National Tree Planting Day celebration scheduled for April 3rd.

Reflecting on the significance of the event, the Queen expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the initiative.

“I am grateful to have been part of this meaningful initiative that promotes environmental stewardship and community engagement,” she said.

Her Majesty underscored the importance of setting examples for children, highlighting practical learning experiences as crucial for instilling values of environmental consciousness.

“Children learn by example, and it’s essential for them to see us actively involved in initiatives like tree planting. By witnessing our actions, they gain a deeper understanding of the importance of caring for the environment and contributing to sustainable development,” she explained.

Furthermore, Her Majesty underscored the significance of nurturing and supporting children, citing Proverbs 22:6, which states, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

“As adults, it is our responsibility to provide guidance and support to the younger generation, instilling in them values of compassion, responsibility, and environmental consciousness,” she said.

James ‘Motlalepula’ Chifwelu, the National Director of World Vision Lesotho, highlighted the purpose and significance of the tree planting initiative, stressing its role in combating climate change.

“We have gathered today to sow the seeds for a brighter tomorrow for our children and to combat climate change,” Chifwelu stated.

He expressed heartfelt gratitude to the Queen for her unwavering support and collaboration with World Vision Lesotho in raising awareness about environmental conservation.

He also extended sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Environment and all attendees for their invaluable support and active participation in the event.

Acknowledging the rescheduling of the planting event to April 3, Chifwelu emphasised the profound significance of the day’s activities as a prelude to the main event.

He proudly announced that 3,000 trees had been planted in Mafeteng during the celebration, symbolizing the inception of a broader initiative. Furthermore, he unveiled ambitious plans to plant an additional 3,000 trees in collaboration with the Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL) and 4,000 trees in Lithipeng, Mohale’s Hoek, with the overarching goal of planting 10,000 trees.

Chifwelu concluded his remarks by passionately urging all stakeholders to join hands with World Vision Lesotho in making a tangible difference through proactive environmental stewardship and robust community engagement.

The collective effort and commitment of all involved, he stated, are essential in fostering a sustainable and resilient future for all.

‘Mahlompho Shaabe, District Education Manager (DEM) for Mafeteng, illuminated the multifaceted contribution of trees to access and quality education.

“With the presence of trees, our children have the opportunity to breathe fresh air consistently. During hot weather, trees offer valuable shade to shield the pupils. Furthermore, when we eventually need to cut down trees, their wood will serve as a means of cooking for them,” Shaabe stated.

She underscored the importance of educating children about the types of trees they plant, as well as the significance of understanding when and where they would be planted. She encouraged school children to actively participate in planting fruit trees, citing their nutritional value and potential for enhancing learning experiences.

She stressed the educational and practical benefits of tree planting initiatives. She highlighted the critical importance of environmental education and sustainable food sources for the holistic well-being of future generations, and underscored the pivotal role of trees in fostering a healthier and more resilient environment for all.

Majoro Khoanyane, the coordinator in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Mafeteng, offered educational insights into the impact of climate change, and emphasised the pivotal role of trees in mitigating its effects.

“Trees play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen,” Khoanyane remarked, and highlighted the function of trees as natural air purifiers, crucial for improving air quality and reducing pollution.

Drawing attention to the symbiotic relationship between the ozone layer and trees, Khoanyane emphasised their interconnectedness in maintaining environmental equilibrium.

“The ozone layer acts as a protective shield, filtering harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Trees, with their foliage and canopy, provide additional protection by absorbing some of this radiation and reducing its impact on the earth’s surface,” he explained.

Khoanyane stressed the paramount importance of preserving and expanding tree cover to safeguard the environment and foster sustainable development.

“As stewards of the earth, it is our responsibility to protect and nurture our natural resources, including trees,” he said.

“By planting and maintaining trees in our communities, we not only contribute to environmental conservation but also enhance the well-being of present and future generations,” he added.

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