The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has condemned the unnecessary cutting down of tress as this was detrimental to the environment and sustenance of future generations.
Yesterday, ZNA in partnership with Forestry Commission and Friends of the Environment planted 62 baobab trees at Dzivaresekwa married quarters in commemoration of the National Tree Planting Day, which is held annually on every first Saturday of December.
Speaking on behalf of ZNA commander Lieutenant General Edzai Chimonyo on the planting ceremony, Chief of Staff Quartermaster Staff Major General Hlanganani Dube said as ZNA they were playing their part in reducing the effects of global warming through planting trees.
“Trees are an essential, indispensable and indisputable part of our lives,” Maj-Gen Dube said.
“They perform a variety of functions such as providing us with oxygen, food, wood, shade, cover and are essential to maintain the balance in the ecology. However, it is sad to note that in recent times the practice of deforestation is on the rise. We as the military strongly condemn the destruction of our natural environment, particularly trees.
“Trees help our biodiversity, ensure our supply of oxygen for generations and provide us with various resources. Without trees, the existence of human life as well as other species on earth is impossible. On the other hand, trees filter the air by absorbing gasses and removing harmful particles by trapping them on their leaves and barks as our protection.”
Maj Gen Dube said trees reduce noise and pollution to the environment from industrial waste as well as beautify places for people to relax, enjoy and socialise.
He said trees are an important part of every community and street parks, playgrounds and backyards are lined with trees that create pleasant environments
“Trees increase our quality of life by bringing natural elements into urban settings. So from what I have said you will all agree with me that destroying our environment particularly trees is suicidal to human nature. Tree planting is a national duty for all Zimbabweans which cannot be overemphasized especially with the climate change the world is facing and the looming desertification that threatens most parts of our country.
“Remember the destruction of forests leads to uncontrolled soil erosion, high sedimentation and subsequent siltation of dams and decreased river flow. It is our duty as members of the army and the community at large to stop practices which degrade the green environment,” Maj Gen Dube said.
Forestry Commission’s district extension officer Mr Duncan Chiwala, speaking on behalf of the operations manager Mr Lewis Radzire said people must plant as many trees as possible to replace trees that were cut down.
“Year in and year out we commemorate the tree planting day and I would like to thank the ZNA for taking the lead in tree planting. We must make sure that we conserve the environment because if we do not conserve it our future is doomed,” he said.
Mrs Patience Fusire from Friends of the Environment applauded ZNA for condemning the destruction of the environment saying it was in the best interest of people to look after their environment.
“Our ideology is that in every season we should plant a tree, for every milestone we should plant a tree and for every decision we made we should plant a tree,” she said.