29th May, 2012
The Rivers Government is embarking on a tree and shrub planting project to beautify and protect the environment, the state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Nyema Weli, has said.
Weli told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Port Harcourt that the project had become necessary considering the environmental degradation caused by gas flaring.
“Gas flaring among other pollutants, has not only destroyed forests, tree and shrubs in our communities, it has also depleted clean and healthy oxygen created by God for our lungs.
“Planting trees, shrubs and flowers will not only beautify our environment and nourish our senses, it will also filter the air and give us clean oxygen.”
He said that the trees would also assist in checking flooding and erosion in the state, especially as the climate change phenomenon was worsening the flood intensity in the area.
“That is why the need to take remedial measures to ameliorate deteriorating environment and its attendant impacts on our quality of life cannot be over-emphasised.”
Weli expressed regret that Port Harcourt, formerly known as garden city, had been destroyed by oil exploration and exploitation, past government neglect and lawless construction of structures.
He said that the present administration was determined to restore the garden city status of Port Harcourt with the tree planting project tagged “Mother Earth Project” , aimed at restoring the refreshing green to the environment for relaxation and picnicking.
The commissioner said that in realising the project, owners and occupiers of landed property as well as business establishments would be required to plant economic and ornamental trees in their surroundings.