The Chairman of Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, Hon. Shamsudeen Abiodun Olaleye, has enjoined market men and women to continue to support the Gov. Babatunde Fashola led-administration in making the state a greenery environment, describing the environment as everything for the survival of the human race.
The council boss made the appeal during the 7th edition of the annual Tree-Planting Campaign with the theme ‘Life Is Better With Trees’ on Monday July 14th, 2014.
Olaleye said tree planting is immeasurably beneficial to man’s health and also helps in beautifying the environment.
“Trees can sooth, relax and help us connect to nature and our surroundings. Tree planting helps improve our surrounding, reduce pollution, lower energy costs, improve the appearance of our community and increase the value of our property,” he noted.
Also speaking at the occasion, the state Governor who was represented by Hon. Adebimpe Akinshola, member, Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) said the exercise has come to stay in the state because it has been proven that the quality of man’s health largely depends on the number of trees around him.
According to him, “The movement towards planting trees and replenishing the earth has assumed center stage in global discussions in the last decade. The need to protect the earth is a universally-recognized responsibility, and Lagos is an active player and a trailblazer in this regard”..
He recalled the old beautiful days of green Lagos where Lagos Island, Ikoyi, Ikeja, Apapa and Yaba were adorned with trees and gardens which made the state a beautiful city.
“In the quest for urbanization, that old Lagos was replaced by buildings and asphalt roads and bridges with no care for how trees could still remain in the landscape. Today, however, the glory of our environment is gradually being restored,” the Governor said.
He further noted that apart from the aesthetic value of trees, the health and environment benefits are also innumerable, adding that the exercise has helped to reduce unemployment from in our society.
“This exercise has also generated over 75, 168 employment opportunities for horticulturists, pruners, gardeners, welders, tanker drivers, security personnel, down to the water boy, all of who help to keep the trees alive”, Fashola added.
In his view, the state Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, represented by the Ministry’s Director of Monitoring, Enforcement and Compliance, Dr. Afolabi Abiodun, further lend credence to the fact that man cannot live without trees because healthy environment is wealthy environment.
He remarked, “A good economy is a determinant standard of living and quality of lifestyle. Hence, one of the crucial ways we have been able to sustain the environment is the launch of Tree Planting in 2008. Our environment is now a mainstream issue. The politics of our environment is the politics of survival”.
“We are elated that our resolve to bring back as much greenery as possible to the city of Lagos has paid off immensely. Our city now wears the look of greenery”.
The Commissioner showered gratitude on Governor Fashola for his vision to make Lagos State a better place to live for all and sundry.
“We cannot but commend the vision of His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who during his inauguration promised to embark on a renewal and regeneration of Lagos environment. It is gratifying to state that this regeneration programme has continued to attract local and international commendations which have now placed the state on global map as a green city. Our state has been transformed from degradation to an aesthetically appealing environment,” he explained.
He highlighted further that the state has now introduced new species into the greening programme which are Nerium-Oleander (Small tree with beautiful pink flower), Sesbania-Hummingbird tree (Small tree with large white flowers), Suzygirum-shaded with canopy (African Apple), Step Tree-shaded with canopy, Casia Fistula (Golden Shower Tree) etc.
According to him, “We believe that there are several reasons why we should plant more trees and take care of our forests.
Trees prevent erosion, help fight flood, regulate the climate, provide habitats for wild life and give us oxygen”.