The Rotary Club of Port Harcourt ECO says it is set to spend over 10 million naira in its core mandate to protect, preserve and secure a safe environment for Rivers people even to the next generation through planting of trees in the state.
Speaking to journalists on the sideline of the Tree Planting exercise weekend, Tagged “Tree Planting As a Strategy For The Mitigation of Climate Change”, at the Eastern Bypass, Port Harcourt City Local government Area of Rivers state, the President Rotary club of Port Harcourt ECO, Rtn Dr Anthony Ikpor says that “Rivers state is an industrial hub of oil and gas in Nigeria where there is increasingly gas flaring, hydrocarbon pollution, soot and other industrial wastes that have significantly contributed to to climate change.”
Ikpor, who quoted Agora, on climate change 2023 as saying that “Nigeria is facing significant health and environmental threats and risks losing over $100 billion annually from the impact of climate change”, added , that “climate change is increasing hunger, poverty, disease-burden, migration, conflict and insecurity in Nigeria.”
Piqued by the adverse effects of climate change such as damaging infrastructure, changing Nigeria’s coastlines, fueling desertification, producing water scarcity, facilitating erosion and resulting in the loss of revenue for states and national government, Ikpor, noted that with the far reaching negative effects on the country’s human and natural system, climate change has the potential to jeopardize the nation’s economic development and alter its geographical, social and political trajectory hence according to him, Rotary club of Port Harcourt ECO is poised to commit her financial and human resources to the tune of over 10 million naira to fight those adverse effects of climate change even as he also sued for collective efforts to protect the environment, promote food security, preserve biodiversity so as to advance the net – zero, emission.
Speaking further, on the tree planting, Ikpor, said that science and research have proven that tree planting is a mitigation strategy to reduce the impact of climate change even as he emphasized that tree planting reduces carbon sequestration, wind breaking, provision of natural shelter maintenance of sustainable biodiversity, provides oxygen, conserve energy, prevent water pollution and prevent soil erosion among others. He stated that Rotary club would start the tree planting from the NLNG junction of the Eastern Bypass to the Bridge which he noted would serve as the phase 1 of the project insisting it would be extended to the end of the Road.
Expressing happiness for the gesture, the Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local government Area, Sir (Hon) Allwell Ihunda (JP) DSSRS, applauded the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt ECO initiative for tree planting in his council.
He said the Council was happy to have been chosen as the first to receive such a gesture insisting the tree planting is good for the sustainability of a good and healthy environment.
Hon, Ihunda said his council was committed to the laudable objectives of Rotary club of Port Harcourt ECO and will always partner with them to ensure the continuation of the sensitization exercise “We are happy to be part of what you’re doing today, we will continue to support you and partner with you.”
“Apart from this tree planting exercise, I am equally aware of other numerous humanitarian activities your club is doing in my council and other parts of the state to impact on the residents. What you are doing today is service to God and humanity, I want to crave your indulgence to join me as we flag off the tree planting campaign” Ihunda said.
On the protection and preservation of the trees, the Mayor said his council would make it a point of duty to protect the trees noting that even if in the event of a tree being cut down due to electricity power lines crossing it or so, three of such trees would be planted to replace it.
Contributing, the immediate past President, Rotary club of Port Harcourt ECO, Rtn Davis Okarevu said he was very happy that what he initiated as the President has come to fruition.
“I started this initiative when I was the President, but today, am happy to be part of what is happening.” We are not doing a haphazard thing here, but have professionals who are working with us. We thank God for the support and encouragement we are getting from our members and partners. We are working with professionals who are giving us these species of trees at a highly subsidized rate.
We must conserve and protect Rivers state” he said even as he enjoined other organizations to emulate what Rotary Club of Port Harcourt ECO is doing.
The high point of the occasion was the flag – off, of the tree planting campaign by the Mayor of Port Harcourt city Local government Area, Sir. (Hon) Allwell Ihunda (JP).
Others at the events were the representatives of Rivers State Ministry of Works, Ministry of Environment, members of Rotary club of Port Harcourt ECO such as the President elect, Dr Bieye Renner Briggs, Rtn Sele May Aso, including A. G, Zone 32, Eberechi Eke Okoro, President, Rotary club Express, Adulrasheed Shitu, among others.