Stakeholders have intensified efforts at reclaiming the erosion site at Urunnebo, Enugwu-Ukwu Community in Njikoka council of Anambra state with planting of various trees.
The project “Forest Restoration,” was organised by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in partnership with Anambra State Ministry of Environment, Nigeria Erosion And Water Shed Management (NEWMAP) and Community Resource Management and Conservation Initiative (CRMCI), supported by ATC Nigeria Wireless Infrastructure Limited.
Speaking to newsmen at the Urunnebo, Enugwu-Ukwu site, NCF Programmes Development Officer, Joshua Dazi, said climatic changes have caused environmental degradation in communities, lamenting that over 95 per cent of forests had been lost.
The aim is to assist people understand the need for restoring the environment, while working with communities to reclaim erosion sites.
He disclosed that the programme at Urunnebo commenced with the planting of 1,000 trees, while the Nnewi Iche site would take about 2,600 trees, bringing the total to 3,600 trees.
He said trees being planted along the erosion control channel include, bread fruit, cashew, Melina, pea, udara, sharwa shop, insisting that they were mainly economic trees that will serve daily needs as food or sold to get money.
Dazi urged the community to nurse and protect the trees, assuring that they would go a long way to save their environment from further erosion threats.
Also speaking, the President General, Urunnebo, Enugwu-Ukwu community, Sir Greg Egenti, recalled that the advancing erosion caused building collapses, while some structures were badly damaged and threatened, but no life was lost.
According to Egenti, the reclamation project started in 2016 and has helped to check the menace. He commended the partners including World Bank, Anambra government, NCF and others for coming to rescue the area from erosion devastation.
In a remark, Prof. Peter Nnabude of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, said the trees would provide vegetation cover and control erosion in the area.
He added that the trees would conserve the soil, Chech water run off and stabilise the area. Ex-executive member of women wing in the community, Mrs. Preciliia Okeke and others who participated in the tree planting exercise, said that the trees would help protect their environment, harvest fruits for food among other benefits.