Swartbooi aims to plant 7 000 by 2014

12 Oct 2013 18:00pm
TSES, 12 OCT (NAMPA) – The //Karas Regional Governor Bernardus Swartbooi aims to plant 7 000 trees before the end of his office term in 2014.
Speaking at a tree-planting ceremony in the Tses village on National Arbor Day on Friday, Swartbooi said the idea is to bring together all Government officials in the region in an effort to buy trees and plant them across the region.
Swartbooi said the aim is to establish a regional tree-planting body to plant trees along roads, entrance of towns and Government office yards for shade, beautification and production of fruit in the region.
“The initiative will also serve as an inspiration for our young people to love and protect the environment by planting more trees. So, I hope before my term ends we will be able to plant 7 000 trees in this region,” he explained.
Last month, his office started buying trees from Windhoek, and has since planted trees in the Aus settlement, Koes and Aroab villages as well as Karasburg and Keetmanshoop.
The governor said this is a continuous process which will transform into a regional tree-planting initiative very soon.
Swartbooi urged that all the trees planted must be well taken care of and not be neglected or used as shades for drinking.
He also warned that people should not urinate on such trees as it is unhygienic, and the trees might die and not grow to desired stages.
“Do not insult, drink and pee under the trees. They can hear because they have sensations too,” he joked.
Arbor Day is celebrated on the second Friday of October every year to highlight the importance of conserving trees and forests in Namibia.
It is on this day when people are encouraged to plant and care for trees, while the youth are educated about the significance of keeping the environment as green as possible.
This year, the Kalahari Apple-Leaf, also known as Omupanda in OshiWambo and OtjiHerero, was chosen the Tree of the Year. The Acacia Tortilis was Namibia’s Tree of the Year in 2012.
The semi-deciduous Kalahari Apple-leaf is mostly found in the northern parts of Namibia where it is regarded as an indicator of fertile soil.
Boiled leaves of the Kalahari Apple-leaf treat colds, and when chewed it can treat Tuberculosis. It is also used as a compress for burns and ulcers.
The outer bark of the branches is put in milk for curdling and thickening, while the chewed green bark could be used for cough treatment.
The liquid from chewed bark of the Kalahari Apple-leaf is used to soften the poison when shooting animals during hunting.