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Ndlovu helps plant 74 tree seedlings in primary school emotional return

BULAWAYO – Environment minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu on Thursday planted one of 74 tree seedlings at Insukamini Primary School and another batch at Hugh Beadle Primary School in a bid motivate children to plant and conserve trees.

At Insukamini Primary School, located in the high density suburb of Mpopoma, Ndlovu was making an emotional return to a place that provided him primary education from 1987 to 1993.

He was quick to admit that as a primary school student he was not afforded an opportunity to tour Bulawayo’s treasured monuments but now as the minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, it was his pleasure to provide the students with the opportunities that he never had.

Ndlovu instructed the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to lead a recreational tour for the Insukamini Primary School students so that they get an environmental appreciation of Bulawayo.

The Minister was officiating at the two tree planting events on the sidelines of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Tourism Expo which kicked off on Thursday and will run up to October 15.

“We all have a responsibility to take care of our environment, especially in pursuit of mitigating the impacts of climate change,” Ndlovu said.

“Every child in primary school should plant a tree. This will help recover the forests being destroyed by veld fires,” he continued.

The tree planting initiative saw a collaboration of parastatals under Ndlovu’s ministry including the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Allied Timbers, ZimParks, and Forestry Commission who all participated in tree planting at the identified schools.

Forest Lovers also came on board seeking to inspire children to volunteer and get involved with the community and also to take part in mitigating climate change crisis through tree planting and other green activities.

“The overall objective of the project is to get tree planting to become part of the school curriculum so that every primary school child plants a tree as part of a school activity,” said Forest Lovers in a statement.

“This will also children an opportunity to learn more about climate change and how to help mitigate the crisis and to adapt…Today, schools and communities across the nation have signed onto the program.”

The program also encompassed Trees for Tourism, a vehicle for tourism operators and other companies and institutions affiliated with the tourism industry in Zimbabwe, to counter-balance the tourism-related footprint.

Observers say by increasing the surface area of existing indigenous forests, re-connecting indigenous forest-remains and creating new woodland in appropriate areas, Zimbabwe’s biodiversity will be made more robust and the nation carbon sink capacity will be enhanced, counteracting the effects of climate change.