GICUMBI/RWAMAGANA - A total of 26,000 trees were on Monday planted on 26 terraced hectares of Mugera hill in Kabuga Cell, Manyagiro, Gicumbi District, to mark the first day of the national tree planting exercise.
The event involved Manyagiro Sector residents, district officials, soldiers of the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF), and National Police personnel.
Addressing residents after the community work, Mayor Bonane Nyangezi called on them to protect trees at all times, by replacing every tree cut down in order to preserve the environment.
“Trees are vital because they are the source of rainfall needed for agriculture production, produce the oxygen and fruits needed for our livelihood,” said Nyangezi.
He also advised residents to practice crop rotation by planting maize through land consolidation, during one season and Irish potatoes in another season to realise high yields.
“Intercropping Irish potatoes with maize in one single season deprives crops of the necessary nutrients, which results in low yields for both types of crops,” he added.
The National Forestry Authority (NAFA), District officer, Boniface Sayinzoga, said over 85,000 trees would be planted on Mugera terraced hill before the end of December.
“This year’s Tree planting Day will involve planting trees that grow alongside crops. They include Grevillea, Leucaena, Calliandra and Alinus,” said Sayinzoga.
Meanwhile, in Rwamagana and Ngoma districts, the launch of the tree planting week was led by children.
Nehime Uwimana, the Rwamagana district Mayor, said there is guarantee of environmental protection if children understand the importance of tree planting.
He added that engaging children in tree planting underscores their determination to conserve the environment for posterity.
The Mayor disclosed that the tree planting week will focus on planting trees where they are most needed in the rural areas.
“We intend to involve people of all ages to actively participate in protecting the environment. Children will no longer destroy trees…this is important and indeed a great achievement,” he said.
In Ngoma district, residents planted hundreds of trees along Lake Sake in the sector of Sake.
Addressing residents, the Mayor Francois Niyotwagira, reiterated the importance of tree planting.
He observed that the fact that the young people have conceptualized the importance of tree planting shows how the tree planting campaign has been embraced.
“This has been the ultimate aim of the campaign…to engage every individual specially the future generation,” he said.
Eastern Province has a long term program to plant over 33 million trees by the year 2013.