By Thoboloko Nts’onyane
MAFETENG – Prime Minister (PM) Rt. Hon Ntsokoane Matekane has this past week led the national tree planting initiative at Ha-Thakanyane, Thabana-Morena in the Mafeteng district.
Thousands of saplings were planted across the country on Friday and those activities were led by cabinet ministers.
Although the United Nations has marked March 21 as the International Day of Forest to raise awareness on the importance of planting trees for sustainable environment, Lesotho observed this day this past Friday.
The theme for 2023 is ‘Forests and Health’.
The UN has set a reforestation target of restoring 150 million hectares of forest and public lands by 2030 as part of its Sustainable Development Goals.
The PM urged the communities to protect the trees saying their importance cannot be overemphasized as they protect the communities against the climate change associated problems.
For his part, the Minister in Prime Minister’s Office Hon Limpho Tau said the trees ought to be bought in the country so as to improve the economy.
According to studies, planting trees is the best way to address climate change issues.
The planted trees are olea africana (mohloare) and leucosidea sericea (cheche).
The Director of Forestry, Sekoati Sekaleli said these trees have all requirements that qualify the plant to be environmentally friendly and climate resilient.
Sekaleli said they sequentrate the carbon.
After 3 years, both climate resilient and friendly. They don’t consume lot of water. They also are for ameliorating the environment, the Director of Forestry said.
This initiative the Department of Forestry has embarked on was in collaboration with the Standard Lesotho Bank.
Standard Lesotho Bank’s Publications and Sponsorship Manager Manyathela Kheleli said the bank takes pride in supporting the country on this environmental rehabilitation policy.
He said this marks the third year since entering into partnership with the Department of Forestry adding that the bank has bought 100 000 trees that are to be planted across the country.
Kheleli urged other companies to come aboard. In future, he highlighted that the plan is to plant fruit trees that will be a catalyst for employment creation in the communities.
There are over 6 000 indigenous trees which have been planted in Thabana-Morena since 21st March.