The Ministry of Lands, Environment, Forestry, Water and Mines plans to plant at least 100 million trees during the annual tree-planting campaign that started Monday. From Umutara in the Eastern Province to Musanze in the Northern Province, area residents were busy answering the environment call by planting trees.
There is something that keeps being repeated here. Protecting the environment should be looked at as a form of maintenance, whose example we can see in the Umuganda activities that take place every last Saturday of the month.
This is when all trenches, culverts and drainage channels get unblocked so as to aid free running of the rain water.
If for a moment these drainage channels get blocked and are left unattended, the running water will flow over roads and subsequently erode them; the water will also run anywhere and everywhere, carrying away the much needed top soil, thus causing lots of damage due to soil erosion.
This is part of what Umuganda addresses those Saturdays, and we do not want to think about the alternative of inattention.
Our grandfathers tell of a Rwanda that was once full of forests on the hills we see today. Man’s constant search for more food production to feed his increasing progeny laid the hill bare, and this is what prompted their afforestation with the eucalyptus we see today constituting our landscape everywhere you go.
This was avoidable.
And planting more and more trees is the only way to go, with stakes raised because we have many other negative forces to contend with like the threat of the depletion of the ozone layer, and having less and less oxygen to breath as plants disappear with a conversely disproportionate increase in human population.
Every single tree planted is for posterity. So everyone should get involved, including our institutions that have large populations like schools, prisons, the army and police.
Just one tree apiece planted per month can have wide ranging positive ramifications that would take just a few years for everyone to appreciate.
Plant a tree tomorrow, you and me.