500 trees roll out to schools
Seven institutions benefit from drive to honour Mandela’s centenary year
Over the last three months a total of 500 indigenous trees, including spekboom and fever trees, have been donated to and planted at schools in the Eastern Cape.
Qunu Junior Secondary School, Makgatho Lewanika Mandela Primary School, Zamuxolo Primary School, Fort Hare University and the Nelson Mandela School of Science and Technology, benefited from the initiative.
They were donated by Konica Minolta in honour of former president Nelson Mandela’s centenary year.
Receiving 100 trees last month, Qunu Junior Secondary is flourishing with its new leafy residents.
“The teachers, students and community are all very happy about these trees.
They will provide shade and shelter the building and playground from the wind,” said Qunu school principal Lucky Mhlawuli.
“We are all involved in keeping the trees alive and well. “During break times the children water them and even our security guard makes sure our gates are closed so that no animals can eat or damage the trees,” he addded.
Spanning Qunu, Mvezo, Alice and Dutywa, the trees were planted and delivered to the areas where Nelson Mandela spent his formative years by a national organisation whose work is addressing food security and environmental sustainability issues, Food & Trees For Africa (FTFA).
“We are the implementing partner and through our Trees for All programme, we organise the delivery and planting of trees, train people how to plant and care for trees, and monitor the trees for a year after planting,” said FTFA programme manager Emily Jones.
“These sites were chosen to honour Madiba’s legacy, but also because there is a great need for trees in the area.
“Indigenous trees improve the soil, provide shade, sink rain water and provide a habitat for local wildlife.”