A non-governmental organisation, Aid Foundation, says it has concluded plans to mobilise one million people to plant 300,000 trees in 35 communities in the Kaduna metropolis.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Mr Emmanuel Bonet, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Friday, December 27, 2019.
Bonet said that the initiative would be implemented in 2020 under a project tagged, “Green Peace”, designed to promote peace, mitigate climate change, promote sanitation and hygiene, and discourage open defecation.
He observed that residents of Kaduna State have been divided along religious lines, adding that the move was to increase interaction and integration among the people for peace and unity.
He explained that a good number of youths from predominantly Muslim community would go and plant trees in a predominately Christian community and vice versa.
“The youths will also clean up the environment of the host communities, exchange phone numbers and ask fellow youths to help water and nurture the trees. If I plant a tree in front of your house, I will ask you to help water and nurture it.
“I will call you from time to time to find out how my tree is faring, and we’ll meet once a month, take a selfie and measure how our tree is growing.
“If this happens over a period of time, it will increase the needed bond among youths and the people in the various communities,” he said.
The executive director said that the project would be implemented in partnership with the Kaduna State Facility Management Agency.
Reacting to the initiative, Mr Zailani Musa, Coordinator, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Kaduna South Local Government Area chapter, described the project as “crucial” to building lasting peace in the state.
According to him, the “Green Peace” initiative will surely foster and strengthen peace and harmony between the two sides of the religious divide.
“NYCN Kaduna South chapter, will support this initiative and look forward to engaging the citizens at the grassroots to fully partake in the project,” Musa said.
Also, Mr Misbahu Ashu, Head of Media and Publicity, Kaduna Youth and Community Development Volunteers (KAYCDEV), acknowledged that some youths in Tudun Wada have never been to Sabon Tasha community.
Ashu added that the Green Peace would provide a platform for the youths to interact and foster harmonious relationship among the people.
“Therefore, as community development volunteers, we are ready to offer ourselves in whatever capacity to ensure the success of the project,” he said.
By Philip Yatai