BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Calabar Nigeria North Stake The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, has planted 500 different species of tree seedlings along major streets and roads in the state capital.
They include, Temilia, Poliapia (Masquerade) and Delonis among others.
The planting was carried out by members of the stake, officials of the government and opinion leaders who came out in their numbers in observance of the 15th All Africa Service Project.
The beautification programme which was carried out along Parliamentary Road Extension, Marian Boulevard, Goodluck Jonathan By-pass, up to the Destination Calabar Roundabout was adopted by the Planning Committee and the Communication Council as a strategic option to demonstrate commitment to the environment and community where the church situates and provided opportunity for the members to give time, service and sacrifice.
Flagging-off the project, Stake President, Calabar Nigeria North Stake, President Akwaowo, Joseph Ekong commended the Ministry of Environment and the State Forestry Commission for providing trucks, tree seedlings and for mapping out the area.
According to President Akwaowo; “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven”.
Commenting on the project, Chairman of the State Forestry Commission, Chief Tony Udiandeye, said the project was in line with Governor Ben Ayade effort in the afforestation and beautification of the State and commended the Calabar Nigeria North Stake for its choice of tree planting.
The Commission Chairman who was represented at the occasion by the Director Environment and Afforestation, Mr. Daniel Adado, said, with increasing global warming and the COVID-19 pandemic, tree planting by the Church was apt and timely but said there has to be monitoring to nurture the trees.
The Project is an annual event undertaken throughout West Africa. It is a way of providing answers to many questions that affect the environment. The members make sacrifice and give service. They do this with joy. They are called to serve Heavenly Father”
Speaking, a member of the church, Brother Honor Ofem said “I join Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the State government in its efforts to enhance a beautiful environment”
Remarking on the event, the Speaker, First Assembly, Cross River State Youth Parliament, Awatt Caleb said he was impressed that the Church could provide such a large number of helping hands.
Awatt promised to build stronger relationship between his organization and the church.