Lesego Valela Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe will on Saturday commemorate the National Tree Planting Day with schools becoming a pivotal cog in pushing the climate change agenda.
Friends of the Environment (FOTE) has identified schools as one of the most critical stakeholders in pushing the climate change agenda using their already existing structures for tree propagation, planting and survival.
More than 38 million trees have been planted in the country over the past decade and FOTE has attributed this to sustained efforts which have seen the organisation being a major producer of tree seedlings in the country.
In their strategy for the 2022 Walkathon, FOTE chairman Mr Tendayi Gwatiringa revealed that his organisation had been working with schools over the past decade for both tree production and planting and would like to up the stakes in the upcoming 13th edition of the walkathon in Masvingo.
“FOTE has held 12 walkathons (2010-2021) covering 2 075 kilometres on foot, which have been successfully executed and we are grateful for the unwavering support of sponsors, schools and the communities,” Mr Gwatiringa said.
“The walkathons, as one of the three pillars of FOTE, are an integral activity that has significantly raised awareness on the importance of tree planting
and the conservation of forests to mitigate global warming and climate change.
“During the 2022 walkathon to Nyika Growth Point more than 86 000 trees will be planted and a further 120 000 thereafter, making our target over 200 000 trees for Masvingo only.”
Mr Gwatiringa said more than 75 percent of the trees will be planted at schools in the seven districts of Masvingo Province; Bikita, Chiredzi, Chivi, Gutu, Masvingo, Mwenezi and Zaka.
He said the 105km journey, leading to the National Tree Planting Day on Saturday will culminate in the commissioning of a tree seedling nursery at Gwindingwi High School in Bikita.
The 2022 walking entourage will be camping at Mutendi High School for the entire duration.