Masvingo Region National Movement of Catholic Students (NMCS) were urged to treat tree planting day as a continuous process. Tree planting should include the actual planting, maintenance of the plants and be used as a motivation for the nation to care for and conserve trees and other natural resources.
Addressing Catholic academics, Masvingo Dioese Regional Chaplin Fr. Raymond Mahefu indicated that there is need to make trees planted on the 30th of November 2019 at Alfred Walter Hostels – Mucheke in commemoration of the 2019 National Tree Planting Day an investment and not an event gone by.
“Over the years we have participated in tree planting days, and few of us have made follow ups on the trees we planted to see how they are growing. This has become a duty which sometimes fail to yield the desired benefits for the community. People should always invest some time in caring for the trees which they would have planted on this particular day,” said Chaplin Fr Mahefu.
Fr. Mahefu said many trees planted on this day have dried up because no one cares for them thereafter. He said people only do it to be seen and forget to do such simple things as watering the plants. He said if at all people would care for their plants, Zimbabwe would be a green country as this would reduce climate change.
The National Movement of Catholic Students each planted a tree at Alfred Walter Hostel under Don Bosco Parish in Masvingo to provide enough shade and restore vegetation in line with Laudato Si, a call by Pope Francis to preserve the environment.
The first Saturday of December each year is National Tree-Planting Day, as the day was declared in 1980 and has become an important part of Zimbabwe’s calendar on which the tree planting season is officially launched whilst the season starts at the onset of the rains and runs until the end of the season.
A single tree can host many hundreds of species of fungi, moss, insects, plants and mammals, whilst trees reduce temperature by absorbing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere.
Rainwater is also captured by trees and trees help to reduce the risk of natural disasters like flooding and landslides as they hold the soil together also minimizing erosion. Trees provide several key medicines, fruits and construction timber while they also serve as a source of energy.