Over 400 seedlings of agroforestry tree species have been planted in schools, farms and around water catchments in communities within the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex, South West Cameroon to protect the already depleting landscape, increase soil fertility, mitigate the effects of climate change as well as protect major water sources in the area.
The tree species, including Acacia and Leucaena, were planted early November 2016 by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and a visiting Irish volunteer, Tony Malone.
During the tree planting exercise, the volunteer schooled students on the importance of the tree planting exercise.
“It is a privilege for you to plant trees at this age. This is something I missed as a student. This exercise is very significant because in no distant time, it would be a pride for you (students) to see that the trees you are setting up today are actually protecting your environment from natural disasters” the volunteer said.
Mr. Malone urged the students to ensure the effective management of the trees planted.
“It does not only suffice to plant trees; you must take proper care of them by pegging them and watering them even twice a week especially during dry season until they are matured to survive on their own” he advised.
ERuDeF’s Lebialem Forestry Coordinator, Mr. Elong Smith, on his part, noted that the trees planted will help improve on the soil fertility and increase farm yields of community members.
Mr Elong expressed admiration for Tony’s passion for environmental protection as demonstrated through his active involvement in the tree planting exercise.
“I am impressed with Mr. Malone’s attitude towards this exercise. He faced the ordeals of our hilly and dusty roads and has planted trees whose impacts will be felt in no distant time”, Mr Elong said.
This tree planting exercise was carried out with financial support from Trees for the Future, USA.
By Ntungwa Smith