by ANNA NTABANE
KAMEELRIVER, (Mpumalanga Guardian) – UNEMPLOYED members of the community in Mpumalanga have been encouraged to plant trees and vegetables as a way of ensuring food security for their families.
The call was made as Mpumalanga province joined the rest of the country in commemorating the recently concluded Arbor Week, an opportune time to call on all South Africans to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management.
Mpumalanga made the most of the commemorations to roll out its Zonda Indaba (Despise Hunger) programme.
Community and farmers received plants and gardening material from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) at an event at Ga-Morwe community hall in Kameelriver, KwaNdebele in the Nkangala District Municipality
“We have planted so many trees. Our aim is to plant eatable trees for each household in Mpumalanga to chase hunger” said DAFF Acting Head of Department, Lucky Monareng.
Arbor Week is celebrated annually on the first week of September.
The aim is to create awareness on about the 2 000 indigenous tree species and the role they play in the environment.
Vusimuzi Shongwe, Member of the Executive Council (MEC): Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs, said in addition to providing fruits and oxygen, trees were key in addressing disasters emanating from climate change.
“When you see trees drying, that means hunger,” Shongwe continued.
This year’s Arbor Week was held under the theme, “Forests and
In Mpumalanga, focus was on mitigating climate change and air pollution.