[one_third][/one_third]Over 600 seedlings of Agroforestry species have been planted around the water catchment of Government Bilingual Primary School (GBPS) Fonjometow in Lebialem Division, Southwest Region to improve on the water quality and protect it from drying off.
The tree species, Acacia angustissima and Leucaena leucocephala were planted September 07, 2016, by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). This was in response to the continuous complaints from the school administration about lack of quality water in the school and the epileptic flow of water from the catchment.
“We have noticed a gradual reduction of water pressure in the water catchment near this school. This source is the major and lone water supply for our pupils and risks drying-off in the future if nothing is done to address the situation. This means that our pupils will have to trek several kilometres in search of clean water,” one of the School administrators lamented.
While planting the trees, ERuDeF Agroforestry Technician for Lebialem, Mr. Jean Fotso, underscored the importance of trees in water catchment protection.
“There are lots of environmental benefits from planting these trees. The trees will improve water quality and quantity, and also moderate atmospheric conditions” he explained.
Mr. Fotso used the tree planting occasion to educate the pupils on how to take care of a water source. He sensitised them on the disadvantages of farming around the catchment.
“To protect and ensure quality water supply by this catchment, you must avoid carrying out farming activities around the water catchment. This is because such activities will clear off vegetation and exposed the water to excess sunlight, which will cause it to dry-off” he told the pupils adding that “Fertilizers from the farms will infiltrate and pollute the water source”.
Mr. Jean Fotso called on the school administration and pupils to closely monitor the water catchment, plant more trees around it and also avoid disposing waste into the catchment.
This Project is under the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development of ERuDeF with supports from Trees for the Future, USA
By Ntungwa Elong Bwang