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OPINION: Why we really need to plant trees?

For decades, Nigeria has been grappling with the challenge of desertification in the northern part of the country and deforestation in the south including the devastating yearly flooding experience across the country.

Our response to these issues has always revolve round mere reaction by state governors, ministries and agencies known for mouthing proactive measures in which government officials and individuals prioritised ecosystem restoration, resilience and environment sustainability programmes on the pages of newspapers and electronic medium for the sake of creatin awareness.

These approach, if embarked on as government officials usually made mention of solutions to these challenges during numerous ceremonies where issues of tackling dessertification, deforestation and damaging flooding are discussed, if the right approach to mitigate these challenges like tree planting is really adhere to and nurture to grow accordingly, it will not only mitigate these challenges but also foster long term environment stability.

By prioritising the restoration of degraded ecosystems, particularly through tree planting, the country will lign with globl best practice proven effective in restoration of lost lands, forests and mitigating flood impats.

Trees play a critical role in restoring lost forests, and mitigating flood impcats through several mechanisms. Their root systems increase soil permeability, enhancing the ground’s capacity to absorb rainfall and reduced surface runoff.

The canopy of trees also intercepts rain, slowing its descent to the ground, hence reducing erosion, which is a key contributor to flooding. In addition, forests act as water regulators, releasing water slowly into rivers and streams. Consequently, it moderates the flow during raining season.

To harness the full potential of tree growing for flood mitigation, restoration of degraded forests and lands, stakeholders in the environment sustainability sector such as state governors, ministries at the federal and state levels including private companies and individuals have to not only embark on tree planting alone but after planting, a tree need to be monitor and watch as it grow.

Doing this will encourage and help to amplify tree growing efforts among Nigerians. We really need to plant trees to curb continued dessertification, deforestation and perennial devastating flooding across the country.

*Courtesy: Femi Akinola, Managing Editor, NatureNews Africa

 

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