ISLAMABAD: As the ‘Plant for Pakistan’ campaign kicked off across the country on Sunday, residents of the capital along with the local government came together to plant around 15,000 saplings across the city.
The city’s efforts were kicked off by the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) Mayor Shiekh Anser Aziz in and around the Shakarparian Parade Ground.
The campaign is aimed at making Pakistan greener, Aziz said after planting a tree sapling adjacent to the parade ground.
He added that the IMC will carry out the massive tree plantation across the city.
This is not the only tree plantation drive in the capital. A ‘monsoon tree plantation drive’ is already under way in the city under the Green Pakistan Programme launched by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Aziz said that so far they had planted over 600,000 plants under the monsoon plantation drive, over half of the drive’s target.
The mayor directed the environment wing of IMC to make arrangements for ensuring proper growth of planted saplings and proper arrangements be made for watering these 15,000 saplings. He explained that they were working to ensure that saplings planted should be around four to six feet tall since the survival rate of smaller plants was low.
Taller plants can survive the harsh climate apart from growing at a fast pace.
The mayor further directed the environment wing to engage residents, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and other organizations in the plantation drive.
“If each resident plants a sapling and ensure its proper growth, the green character of the city will be considerably enhanced,” Aziz said.
With the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) also participating in the drive, hundreds of students — with many in uniform — belonging to the government-run school and colleges of the capital participated in the tree plantation drive.
Saplings of Chir, Sukhchain and Kachnar were planted in the area surrounding the Parade ground.
Farzana Akram, a senior teacher at the Islamabad Model College for Girls Sector I-8/4, said that protecting the environment was the need of the hour and this event was important for creating awareness amongst students.
“Our students know the importance of trees in contributing to the environment by providing oxygen and improving air quality. That is why they are here, participating in this drive with enthusiasm,” she said. Adding that tree plantation is a great way to increase student’s interest in their environment.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2018.