A­ber­deen gif­ted with 120 trees

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A­ber­deen — Ar­bor Month was ce­le­bra­ted in A­ber­deen re­cent­ly, w­hen the to­wn was cho­sen to re­cei­ve

120 young trees from the Sa­rah Baart­man Dis­trict Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty.

His­to­ri­cal­ly, Ar­bor Day was first ce­le­bra­ted in South A­fri­ca in 1983, then it ex­pan­ded to being Ar­bor

Week in 1996, and this y­e­ar, the Mi­nis­ter of A­gri­cul­tu­re, Fo­re­stry and Fis­her­ies de­cla­red the w­ho­le of Sep­tem­ber as Ar­bor Month.

The the­me for this y­e­ar’s Ar­bor Month is Fo­re­stry and Sus­tai­na­ble Ci­ties.

The cam­paign aims to rai­se a­wa­re­ness of the im­por­tan­ce of trees in South A­fri­ca, par­ti­cu­lar­ly tho­se in­di­ge­nous to the re­gi­on. Spe­ci­al pro­gram­mes ha­ve been run in schools to en­coura­ge pu­pils to ap­pre­ci­a­te the be­ne­fits of trees in the en­vi­ron­ment, and the Sa­rah Baart­man Dis­trict Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty cho­se A­ber­deen to be the re­ci­pient of young in­di­ge­nous trees to be plan­ted in the a­rea.

The lo­cal schools and crè­ches, as well as pu­blic fa­ci­li­ties such as the hos­pi­tal and cli­nic, chur­ches, li­bra­ry and parks we­re i­den­ti­fied as suit­a­ble si­tes, w­he­re trees plan­ted this week would gi­ve shade and help re­du­ce cli­ma­te chan­ge for fu­tu­re ge­ne­ra­ti­ons.

On Mon­day 17 Sep­tem­ber, Ak­ho­na Ts­ha­ka, a se­ni­or fo­re­stry de­ve­lop­ment of­fi­cer from the De­part­ment of A­gri­cul­tu­re, Fo­re­stry and Fis­her­ies ar­ri­ved from King Wil­li­am’s To­wn to of­fi­ci­al­ly hand o­ver and plant wild o­li­ve, cel­tic, rhus, and y­el­low­wood trees. She was ac­com­pa­nied by Za­ne­le Dy­ayiya, com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons ma­na­ger from Di­sas­ter Ma­na­ge­ment in the Dis­trict Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, who was a­ble to ex­plain the ro­le of trees in hel­ping to pre­vent na­tu­ral di­sas­ters.

The­se of­fi­ci­als, to­get­her with re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ves of va­ri­ous be­ne­fi­ci­a­ry or­ga­ni­sa­ti­ons within the two wards in A­ber­deen, vi­si­ted the four schools, e­ach of which re­cei­ved six sap­lings. At A­ber­deen Se­con­da­ry School, Ak­ho­na her­self, to­get­her with prin­ci­pal Ti­mo­the­us Webb, did most of the dig­ging for the ho­le for the first sym­bo­lic tree to be plan­ted. The group then vi­si­ted the ot­her three schools.

Trees for the re­mai­ning si­tes we­re de­li­ver­ed by Cl­lr Wil­lem Sa­fers and C­li­ve Kom­ba­ni, the A­rea Ma­na­ger in A­ber­deen la­ter in the week. The next day, a functi­on was held at the li­bra­ry hall w­he­re vi­si­ting dig­ni­ta­ries, in­clu­ding Cl­lr No­ti­zi Van­da (Port­fo­lio Coun­cil­lor for Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vi­ces) and the S­pea­ker of the Dr Bey­ers Nau­de Lo­cal Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty, Cl­lr T­hem­bi­sa Non­nies, who re­pre­sen­ted the Ma­yor. School child­ren from A­ber­deen Se­con­da­ry School and A­ber­deen Full Ser­vi­ce School mar­ched to the hall, ac­com­pa­nied by vehi­cles from the Traf­fic De­part­ment. The child­ren fil­led the hall, al­ong with a few pa­rents and ot­her mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty, and mos­t­ly lis­te­ned at­ten­ti­ve­ly to the pro­ce­dings.

Cl­lr Sa­fers di­rected a pro­gram­me which was both in­for­ma­ti­ve and en­ter­tai­ning, with the main s­pea­ker Ak­ho­na Ts­ha­ka emp­ha­si­zing to the child­ren their ro­le in pre­ser­ving trees, and pas­sing on in­for­ma­ti­on to both the ol­der ge­ne­ra­ti­on and, in fu­tu­re, their own child­ren. Cl­lr Sa­fers emp­ha­si­zed a lo­cal ex­am­ple w­he­re child­ren must play a vi­tal ro­le in e­du­ca­ting ot­hers in the com­mu­ni­ty, re­gar­ding the Fon­tein­bos Na­tu­re Re­ser­ve. This a­rea is sad­ly being sy­s­te­ma­ti­cal­ly strip­ped of trees e­very win­ter w­hen mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty go and cut do­wn trees for fi­re­wood.

En­ter­tai­n­ment du­ring the meet­ing was pro­vi­ded by choirs from A­ber­deen Se­con­da­ry School and Luxo­lo In­ter­me­di­a­te School, as well as a very thoug­ht­ful dra­ma pie­ce per­for­med by an im­ma­cu­la­te­ly dres­sed group of young­sters from Kam­de­bo P­ri­ma­ry School.

Plan­ting a tree at A­ber­deen Se­con­da­ry School.

Le­ar­ners ar­ri­ving at the li­bra­ry hall s­how so­me of their pos­ters.

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