Africa’s second-largest country by population is Ethiopia and is being celebrated as one of the world’s fastest-growing economy. But these days Ethiopia is facing gave problems brought upon by deforestation, with tree cover vanishing daily, the land is drying out and becoming less fertile and the drier and infertile the land becomes, the higher the risk of there being another one of Ethiopia’s periodic famines like in 2017 whereas a result of drought, two million animals died.
From 33% the tree cover has fallen to 13% leaving the country with barren rural landscapes and leafless cities. So to fix this, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister launched a national tree-planting project aimed at planting 4 billion trees equivalented to 40 per person. This aspiring campaign has been launched to improve Ethiopia’s suffering environment. The Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, during this campaign, said that the trees would help to “transform our degraded environments for healthy lives and functional ecosystems.”
The Prime Minister, Abiy planting a seedling to officially kick start the ambitious campaign.
He also held a meeting with national agri-transformation leaders in Adama city in his home region of Oromia. He wanted to discuss their roles and responsibilities in modernizing the sector. He also tasked them to spearhead the National Green Development Program which he officially launched.
There were hundreds of thousands of volunteers like students, farmers, urban professionals, foreign dignitaries, environmentalists, and government officials that planted millions of seedlings. The agriculture ministry estimates the overall cost of this project at £300 million (US $548 million). A gala dinner with Mr. Ahmed was held to raise money for planting and other improvements to the capital city, Addis Ababa, two hundred guests just to attend this dinner paid US $173,000 each. They will all be named on plaques along a tree-lined avenue.
But the reality is that, not only this country has this problem, also Africa loses forest cover equivalent to an area the size of Switzerland every single year, and global deforestation accounts for at least a fifth of all carbon emissions. Every country has to act now before it is too late and the damage is irreversible!