By Prince Mukuna
A Harare-based non-governmental organisation, Grow a Tree Foundation (GTF), is targeting to oversee the planting of 15 000 citrus fruit trees in schools across the country as a way to adapt and mitigate against climate change.
The organisation on Wednesday launched the initiative at Glen View 1 High School, where it planted 100 fruit trees.
GTF director Mr Kudakwashe Manyanga said they aimed to nurture trees and address the aspect of stewardship in tree planting programmes.
“Today we are planting 100 trees and we are targeting to carry out this same exercise at a minimum of 150 schools.
“We are primarily focusing on fruit trees because they are high quality trees that are grafted and we expect them to bear fruits so that the school can benefit,” he said. “We want to make sure that we take stock of the trees that are being planted in Zimbabwe to check whether they are nurtured as they reach the maturity stage and who is looking after them.”
“We are expecting each and every pupil to adopt a tree and we will be monitoring the growth of that child against the growth of the tree,” he said.
“We will then offer scholarships for pupils who are able to successfully nurture their trees, whereby we will be paying their school fees in various schools across the country.”
Mr Manyanga said the organisation provided advisory services on the value of trees and career guidance to pupils who were eager to take up careers in environmental and climate change issues.
“We travel across the country giving lectures to pupils on the importance of trees in their lives and for those who would want to take a career path in environment and climate change-related issues, we provide the best career advice,” he said.