Roads Agency Limpopo Joins South Africa in Cel­e­brat­ing Ar­bor Month

Mmileng - - Contents -

Septem­ber is Na­tional Ar­bor Month. Ar­bor Day, that low-key an­nual day that was first cel­e­brated in South Africa in 1945, has grown into some­thing big­ger. And Road Agency Limpopo (RAL) is now firmly rooted in the tra­di­tion.

At least since 2001, the day to cel­e­brate and plant trees had branched out to a Na­tional Ar­bor Week for the first seven days of Septem­ber, but has from this year been ex­tend fur­ther to a big­ger Na­tional Ar­bor Month.

The theme for the first ex­tended 2018 Na­tional Ar­bor Month cam­paign was “Forests and Sus­tain­able Cities”.

The Ar­bor Month, and its pre­vi­ous it­er­a­tions, is the cam­paign of the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries (DAFF), and its fore­run­ners, – the “the cus­to­dian of forestry in South Africa”.

Ac­cord­ing to DAFF, the aim of the Na­tional Ar­bor Month is to pro­mote and cre­ate a bet­ter life for all.

“Or­gan­i­sa­tions are en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate in tree plant­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and re­lated en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes.”

RAL has since 2009, con­trib­uted to the cam­paign by plant­ing trees in ar­eas and com­mu­ni­ties where the Agency con­structs the much needed road in­fra­struc­ture.

Tha­belo Mu­laudzi, As­sis­tant Man­ager in the En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment unit at RAL says the ini­tia­tive was started due to the im­pact of ex­ces­sive veg­e­ta­tion clear­ance along road re­serves and bor­rows pits at con­struc­tion sites.

“To re­store na­ture, RAL’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment unit, and Stake­holder Re­la­tions and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment unit re­quest con­trac­tors and con­sult­ing en­gi­neers to do­nate in­dige­nous trees; par­tic­u­larly fruit trees, to com­mu­ni­ties were the pro­jects are or had been im­ple­mented.”

“The pro­gramme starts in Septem­ber each year, how­ever depend­ing on the pro­gramme of a con­trac­tor on site, trees can still be do­nated in any other month or sea­son which is ideal for tree plant­ing,” says Ms Mu­laudzi.

With the Na­tional Ar­bor Month co­in­cid­ing with the com­ple­tion date for the up­grad­ing of Road D1392 in the Sekhukhune Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Lone­rock Con­struc­tion - the main con­trac­tor for the road pro­ject - do­nated 60 trees.

The trees, 30 mango and 30 orange trees, were planted at lo­cal crèches, schools and tra­di­tional author­ity of­fices in the vil­lages ad­ja­cent to the up­graded road.

The 24km D1392 was up­graded from gravel to tar over a three-year pe­riod be­gin­ning at Ga-Malekane through the vil­lages of Ga-Mam­puru,

Ga-Phasha, Tukak­gomo end­ing at the in­ter­sec­tion with road D1296 at Ga-Mahlak­wena. (Story on Page 32)

“To help in­crease pub­lic aware­ness of just a few of the 2 000 in­dige­nous tree species in South Africa, ev­ery Ar­bor cam­paign cel­e­bra­tion high­lights two spe­cific trees; one com­mon and one rare (un­com­mon) species,” says DAFF. (See Box on the left for 2018 Trees of the Year)

Ac­cord­ing to DAFF’s 2000-2020 Trees of the Year list, trees to look for­ward to in the next cou­ple of years that grow in Limpopo prov­ince, in­clude Scle­ro­carya bir­rea (2019, Com­mon Tree of the Year) also known as Morula (North­ern Sotho), Ukanyi (Xit­songa) or Mu­fula in Tshiv­enda, and the Baobab (Adan­so­nia dig­i­tata), the 2020 Rare Tree of the Year also known in the prov­ince’s ver­nac­u­lars as Se­boi (North­ern Sotho), Ximuwu (Xit­songa) or Mu­vhuyu (Tshiv­enda).

In South Africa, ac­cord­ing to the South African Na­tional Bio­di­ver­sity In­sti­tute (SANBI), Morula can be found in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal prov­inces while the Baobab, which is the largest tree in South Africa, can only be found in Limpopo.

RAL will be cel­e­brat­ing a decade of its in­volve­ment with tree plant­ing in 2019.

“RAL as an im­ple­ment­ing road in­fra­struc­ture agency en­cour­ages all ci­ti­zens of Limpopo prov­ince to con­trib­ute to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment by plant­ing trees,” says Ms Mu­laudzi.

From left to right, Martin His­lop and Wi­cus Naude from Lone­rock Con­struc­tion (Con­trac­tor), RAL’s Pro­ject Man­ager Nick Muthivheli, Allen Mu­gadza (with a spade) from SFC En­gi­neers (Con­sul­tant) and RAL’s Tha­belo Mu­laudzi (with a hose) plant­ing a mango tree at Ng­wanatheko Pub­lic School, a pri­mary school in Ga-Mam­puru.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.