When trees are planted in honour of COVID-19 victims – By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu

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There are several benefits of planting trees. They range from protecting the environment against degradation, releasing oxygen to both wildlife and humans, beautifying the environment, providing food for the sustenance of man and other lives in the environment, providing shelter to both man and animals to providing raw materials to industries. Also, trees are planted to commemorate the death of our loved ones.

It was this reason that a network of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), under the aegis of ” Healing Trees Movement” gathered in Abia State to honour the million lives lost through the COVID-19 pandemic. The movement is a global movement anchored by San Ramon Carbono Neutral Foundation, Costa Rica with the commission to plant 5 million trees globally to honor the 5 million lives lost to COVID 19 pandemic. Also, the movement is anchored in Nigeria by Child Rights Network (CHIRN) in conjunction with other NGOs.
The event took place at St. Silas Primary School/ Old Umuahia Community Health Centre premises.


The exercise commenced with a courtesy call to the Traditionaltional Ruler of the community, His Royal Highness, Eze Dr. John Onuzike Eze (Amara lll of Eluelu) of Old Umuohia Autonomous Community, who the team sensitised the team through. The traditional rulers in return promised to mobilise the community to support the project for the protection of the ecosystem. He commended the team for deeming it fit to carry out the project in his community and for dedicating the project in commemoration of those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

The event witnessed a harvest of speeches. Mr Ben Ezinma , Senior Programme Manager ,CHIRN and coordinator Healing Trees Movement in Nigeria said that the event has provided a platform to send strong message of hope, solidarity and unity of purpose to the families, neighbors and friends of those who lost their loved ones to COVID 19, that they are not alone in their moment of grieve and pain.He called on the citizens to plant trees for food security ,stressing that COVID-19 pandemic exposed the food in security in Nigeria and entire world.

In his remarks,Apostle Innocent Akomas, AbiaState Coordinator, Child Protection Network (CPN) and President, Moral Integrity Network (MINET) , stressed the need to always remember those who lost their lives due to COVID-19 pandemic ,and to sensitise the public on the importance of trees to human lives and the negative impact of climate change to women and children

Other NGOs that partnered Child Rights Network of Nigeria (CHIRN) in the project were Human Advancement and Community Helpers League in Africa (HACPLE- Africa), Rural Transformation and Development Organization (TRUDORG), Moral Integrity Network (MINET), Don of Life (DOLF), Initiative for Care and Support to the Less Privileged (ICASULP),Abundant Grace Initiative for Rural Women and Children (AGRIWOC), Life Links Trust, Women and Child Development Initiative (WACDI).
Part of the highlight of the event was the planting of over 20 symbolic trees such as mango, cashew, orange, guava, wild mango, African star apple, avocado, among others.

Movements team and environmental activists sensitized the community through the king who promised to mobilize his community members to support ecosystem restoration. He commended the team for remembering and honouring our loved ones who lost their lives to COVID 19 in the world and commended the Healing Trees Movement for the great initiative.
Similarly before going into the planting segment the staffs of the health center facility were also sensitized on the objective of #HealingTrees Movement and climate change and environmental protection.

The event witnessed a harvest of speeches. Mr Ben Ezinma , Senior Programme Manager ,CHIRN and coordinator Healing Trees Movement in Nigeria said that the event has provided a platform to send strong message of hope, solidarity and unity of purpose to the families, neighbors and friends of those who lost their loved ones to COVID 19, that they are not alone in their moment of grieve and pain.He called on the citizens to plant trees for food security ,stressing that COVID-19 pandemic exposed the food in security in Nigeria and entire world.

The tree planting is symbolic to the lives lost to COVID-19 as it often said, tree is life; Mr Ezinma during the interaction with the king and health center staff and management.

In his remarks,Apostle Innocent Akomas, AbiaState Coordinator, Child Protection Network (CPN) and President, Moral Integrity Network (MINET) , stressed the need to always remember those who lost their lives due to COVID-19 pandemic ,and to sensitise the public on the importance of trees to human lives and the negative impact of climate change to women and children

Part of the highlight of the event was the planting of over 20 symbolic trees such as mango, cashew, orange, guava, wild mango, African star apple, avocado, among others.

Other NGOs that partnered Child Rights Network of Nigeria (CHIRN) in the project were Human Advancement and Community Helpers League in Africa (HACPLE- Africa), Rural Transformation and Development Organization (TRUDORG), Moral Integrity Network (MINET), Don of Life (DOLF), Initiative for Care and Support to the Less Privileged (ICASULP),Abundant Grace Initiative for Rural Women and Children (AGRIWOC), Life Links Trust, Women and Child Development Initiative (WACDI).

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