Kwara: SEMA calls for aggressive tree planting to reduce effects of storm

The Acting Director, Department of Forestry, Federal Ministry of Environment, Tiamiyu Oladele, has announced plans by the federal government to plant 30 million tree seedlings in 2020 to accelerate afforestation in the country.

The Kwara State Emergency Management Agency (KSEMA) has called on the residents to embark on aggressive tree planting to minimise the effects of storm in the state.

Mrs Motunrayo Adamu, the Secretary of KSEMA, told newsmen on Monday in Ilorin that trees check deforestation and serve as windbreakers to minimise the effects of rainstorm.

The SEMA secretary was speaking against the backdrop of the rainstorm which caused losses of lives and properties on Saturday night in Ilorin.

She said that although storm is a natural disaster, the effect could be minimal if there were trees to serve as windbreakers.

“After an assessment by the agency on Sunday around Ilorin metropolis, it discovered that no less than 5,000 houses were destroyed.

“We went to Pakata, Okekere, Okelele, Alagbado, Sarumi, Ita merin, Ita Amo, Omoda, Adangba and some other places. We noticed that some of the houses were totally blown off, while some were partially blown off.

“Other houses collapsed totally, while some suffered partial collapse, but it was a precarious situation.

“We also got reports from Ifelodun Local Government that the area was affected; all these can be guard against if there are trees serving as windbreakers,’’ Adamu said.

She noted that some of the affected houses were built by non-professionals who used substandard products that contributed to the damage.

“We also discovered that some of the houses were built on waterways which, in itself, is dangerous even before rainstorm.

“Residents should desist from dumping refuse into the drainage systems to avoid blockage; because no matter the blockage, water will always find its way,’’ Adamu said.

She said that the state government had set up a committee to assist the victims.

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