By Aplefe Ojong
The Cross River State Government says it is putting structures that will allow city irrigation systems as measures to ensure the capital city of Calabar remains green all year round.
The Commissioner for Environment, Engineer Mike Eraye disclosed this Saturday, in Calabar while supervising the on going work of replanting trees and destroyed grasses/carpets along the broken line between 11-11 axis and IBB Way as part of the operation restoration of green areas in Calabar where he explained that the leadership of Senator Ayade in Cross River is committed to ensuring a fresh, clean and healthy air for the residents of the city as well as attracting Carbon Credit to the state.
“We have a target which is near infinity, which is His Excellency’s 5million trees target and we would be contributing to ensure the realization of that target, and it is going to be continuous, it will recognize no dry season as we are putting structure on ground for city irrigation; And throughout the dry season we would go and by God’s grace we will continue to have rain in Calabar” Eraye said.
He explained that city capping is the generation of canopies on roads with the current operation aimed at repairing the broken link and listed the benefits of the city capping to include aesthetic value, checkmating of climate change, attraction of carbon credit to boost revenue generation, fight against dirt’s, carbon dioxide and monoxides from vehicles and generating plants as well as other sources of pollutants by replacing them with fresh and clean air vital to human beings.
On the species of trees to be planted, Eraye who said that some of the species will be brought from places like Jos, Plateau, Ibadan, Ghana, from the wilds and other locations, also pointed out that: “The same variety with the existing one in a particular locality would be brought to link up from where there was a discontinuity, reconnect with similar trees, redesign the structure as it is on ground”, adding that: “Some varieties will be difficult to get, and that we are already in September, while taking biological and scientific factors into consideration.
“You will recall that the green vehicle has (been) lost through human activities, including the canopy as you can see from IBB to this point where we are working, there are no trees standing again, we want to restore the trees, and for aesthetic values and symmetry, there must be a line. We deploy services of surveyors and we are going to replant to reconnect with IBB. Many factors would be responsible to ensure the success of the assignment. Species are difficult to get we will get them from Jos, Ibadan, Ghana, the wilds and other locations”.
On the growing rate of the various species, Eraye explained that: “It depends on the species, while some grow fast as the ones along 11-11 which were planted between 2013 and 2014, others may grow slowly, and the reason for bringing those that grow slowly is to plant them along paths where high tension electricity cables passes through, hence the ministry is taking pains to select where we plat what and where”.
Also, he urged residents to always “use the walkway, as it is only the hunters that take bush paths. Government has deliberately invested a lot of resources in building walkways, the people should use them and avoid destroying the grasses and the canopies. There are heavy penalties for violating the rule as they will face the mobile court. When we get to buildup areas where we have organized settlements, residents would be at liberty to choose the species of trees we should plant at the front of their houses”.
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