LAHORE: The Lahore Conservation Society (LCS) will start a tree plantation drive, in association with the Citizens Foundation (TCF), at 18 TCF schools on July 25.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ali Amjad from the LCS said that they had started the project following a survey of the schools to determine the number of trees that they could plant at each campus. “During our survey, we checked the soil quality at the schools to ensure that the right type of trees are planted. Our focus is on growing trees that are sustainable,” he said.
He said the LCS team had recently conducted the survey at the TCF Jhulkey School, near Gajjumata.
“We will plant 250 trees at this campus. The LCS will train students in taking care of the trees. This will encourage the students to take ownership of the trees,” he said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Col (r) Iqbal from the TCF said that plantation was a regular activity at their schools. “The campuses selected by the LCS have been completed recently. There is not a lot of greenery there. We cannot afford air-conditioners at our schools. Trees are a good way of ensuring the area has shade,” he said. Iqbal said that they hoped to plant 100 to 150 trees at every campus.
Another organisation, Locally Lahore, plans to organise a similar drive.
Mohsim Azam of Locally Lahore said that they would plant 1,000 trees throughout the city with help from the government. “We will choose public places such as parks, hospitals, mosques and abandoned lots to plant trees,” he said. Azam said that the plantation drive would start after Eid.
Naeem Bajwa, a geographic information system (GIS) expert, said that it was extremely important for the citizens to undertake such green initiatives. “Over the past few years, prime agricultural land has been developed into housing societies. This has caused a substantial loss of green areas and trees,” he said.
“Trees were also cut for roads and other infrastructure development projects. When the underpass near Jinnah Hospital was built, a lot of trees were cut down. Trees felled along the canal were noticed. However, there are other areas from where trees have disappeared without anyone raising a voice,” he said.
He said trees helped lower the ambient temperatures. “They also prevent cities from becoming concrete islands that trap heat. Leaves that fall from trees enrich the soil,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.