....visit to Nadosioto Primary School part of Assembly’s 10th Anniversary celebrations
East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Arusha, Tanzania; 23 May 2011: EALA has committed to planting 50,000 trees in the Partner States over the next one year. At the same time, local communities have been encouraged to grow and conserve trees and integrate the same in their farming systems.
EALA Speaker, Rt. Hon Abdirahin H. Abdi, said that in so doing, EALA was committing to enabling the region realise sustainable environment in accordance with goal no. 7 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), that all Partner States have appended their signatures to.
EALA made the pledge during the tree planting ceremony held at Nadosoito Primary School, in Terrat ward, 17 km south- east of Arusha today. The tree planting ceremony was marked as part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations of EALA. A total of 200 trees of different species were planted in the ceremony that brought together the community, school children, teachers and their parents. The species which are drought resistant and fast growing include: Senna Spectsblis (Mhojoro), Olea Capensis (Loliondo), Acacia, Mango and Guava.
In a speech read on his behalf by EALA MP, Hon. Kate Kamba, the Rt. Hon Speaker pledged that the Assembly would go every mile towards legislating relevant pieces of law that protect and conserve the environment. The region has a Protocol on Environment and Natural Resources which is not yet ratified by all Partner States. “I urge all Partner States to ratify this important Protocol”, the statement of the Hon. Speaker said. So far, only the United Republic of Tanzania is yet to ratify the Protocol.
According to the Speaker, an average of 1100 trees grown per year per Member of EALA, shall see the Assembly hit the 50,000 target. “This translates to about 90 trees a month or simply put, 3 trees a day, a target that is possible”, the statement added.
In attendance were the Member of Parliament for Arusha, Hon Godbless Lemma and officials of the Arusha Municipal Council led by the acting Municipal Director, Mr. Redneck M. Mbatian.
The Arusha MP urged the locals to support the idea of growing more trees as a mode of checking the environmental degradation. He noted that the water situation in the area and region generally, was grave and needed to be urgently addressed.
The Headteacher of Nadosoito Primary School, Mr. Simon Siara hailed the initiative by EALA noting that the residents in the area were motivated by the worthy activity.
“One of our major challenges in this area is in harvesting rain. We shall do all we can’, he said.
Mr. Siarra appealed for donations in terms of books which he said hampered the progress of the students.
“At the moment, the ratio of books per pupil is one to four and at this rate, even the teachers are unable to effectively deliver”, he said.
The Rt. Hon. Speaker said EALA would continue in its quest to look for opportunities to engage with publics across all cadres of society.
”As we appraise our own effectiveness as an Assembly, we continue to reflect on what tomorrow holds. Let me hasten to say that “tomorrow belongs to the young ones you see here”. But tomorrow also belongs to a strong and unified East African Community region where all citizens shall enjoy the full benefits of integration, social inclusiveness and cohesiveness.”
The tree planting ceremony was timely and took place against the backdrop of the International Biodiversity Day which was commemorated globally yesterday (May 21, 2011). The theme of this year’s International Biodiversity Day was Forests and Biodiversity and coincides with the UN Proclamation of 2011 as the International Year of Forests.