Rotary, One Million Trees Movement Partner to Inspire Youths in Schools’ Tree Planting Project 

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The Rotary Club of Lekki Phase 1, in conjunction with an environmental group, the One Million Trees Movement, have committed to planting over 100 coconut trees at the Gbara Maiyegun Community Secondary School, in the Lekki axis of Eti-Osa local government area of Lagos State.

This collaborative tree-planting campaign between the Rotary Club Lekki 1 District and the One Million Trees Movement was aimed to empower students, enhance green spaces, and foster a sense of environmental responsibility among the younger generation. 

Speaking at the event which was held at the expansive school premises with an enthusiastic gathering of students, the Rotary president, Mike Jaga, said that the tree planting project is part of their club’s Environmental Sustainability Programme, which is held annually. He explained that they chose to plant coconut because of the environment and economic potential of the coconut trees.

He said, “Planting trees, apart from protecting the environment, can also be a source of economic empowerment. We are planting coconut trees because it not only prevents erosion but has economic value. This is because every part of the coconut is valuable, it can be used for cosmetics, and food, also the coconut water is nourishing and medicinal and coconut leaves are a good source of fuel. 

“We must ensure that our environment is cleaner and safer, because these days we talk of climate change and the need to move with time. So we hope this message will go around among our youths,” he added. 

Also speaking, Mrs Ifeoma Anieze Corona, former  president of the club disclosed that their partnership with One Million Trees Movement was to educate and inspire students about the importance of environmental conservation. 

She said that by planting trees on school grounds, they seek to create vibrant green spaces that will benefit both the students and the community at large. “The children must understand why we’re planting the trees. Tree planting is what Rotary has taken seriously and we are doing that all around the world. It’s for our health and a better environment. A lot of benefits come from having many trees around. It cleanses the air we breathe. So it’s not limited to just the school, we need it in our homes as well. Let us all join in sensitizing people about the importance of protecting the environment for the future.”

While engaging the students in an interactive session on the significance of trees for a sustainable future, members of the One Million Trees Movement, lectured the students about the vital role that trees play in combating climate change, improving air quality, and supporting ecosystems. “As citizens of Earth, we have the responsibility to maintain the environment and never destroy the Earth’s structures”,

Misty Uba, a member of the One Million Trees group. “When we were growing up we were told that the trees would take up our carbon dioxide and give us oxygen. So if we longer have much around, where would our carbon dioxide go to, and where do we get oxygen? Today most of our vehicles are not environmentally friendly so the only thing we can do is to allow the earth to sustain itself by allowing the trees and the environment to be protected.”

Mr Uba further commended the Rotary Club for joining forces in their tree-planting project, and admonished the students to support the initiative by nurturing the trees planted in their school premises.

Josfyn Uba, another member of the One Million Trees group, also stressed on the adverse implication of climate change, and urged the students to imbibe a lasting commitment to environmental responsibility.

She said, “We need to be concerned about the environment because if we don’t take care of it now, we’ll have no place to live. Presently climate change is not only becoming serious, but the rains are also becoming heavier, and the flooding is becoming serious. You will notice that the rains are becoming heavier, and we keep recording tragedies because the flood keeps sweeping people and properties away. The world leaders are not sincere with the issue of climate change but we individuals must take up the challenge.

“We must take this as a matter of urgency, and begin to fear because there is almost no tomorrow when it comes to the climate change crisis. So we in the One Million Tree Campaign project are serious about it and hope that in the next few years, given the support we have with our partners, we would be able to plant up to one million trees, because when we plant a tree today, we save your tomorrow,” Josfyn Uba stated.

Following the informative session, the students, alongside teachers, principals and  volunteers eagerly participated in the tree planting activities, armed with shovels and coconut saplings provided by the Rotary Club and One Million Tree Movement. 

And appreciating the tree planting event in the school, the principals, Bosede Oyewole and Mariam Salami, of the Gbara Community Junior and Senior Secondary School, described the project as impactful. “We are happy for the trees because it doesn’t only protect us and the environment, it will also go a long way in beautifying our school. And on behalf of Gbara Senior and Junior Secondary School, we thank you and promise that we are going to maintain the trees because we know the benefits”, Mrs Oyewole said.

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