July 9, 2019:
Ethiopia, which is the African continent’s second most populous nation, is being celebrated as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. However, the effects of the rapid development as well as population boom are taking their toll on the country’s natural environment. Moreover, almost nine households in 10 still rely on wood for fuel in the country.
As a result, Ethiopia now faces serious threat due to deforestation. With tree cover vanishing daily, the land is drying out and becoming less fertile. The more dry and infertile the land becomes, the higher the risk of there being another one of Ethiopia’s periodic famines – like in 2017 when two million animals died as a result of drought.
Somewhat alarmingly, the tree cover in Ethiopia has fallen from 35% in the early 20th century to 13% today, leaving the country with barren rural landscapes and leafless cities. So to rectify the situation, 4 billion trees will be planted, which is equivalent to 40 per person. This ambitious campaign has been launched to improve Ethiopia’s suffering environment.
Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister, said the trees would help to “transform our degraded environments for healthy lives and functional ecosystems.”
The Ethiopia agriculture ministry estimates the overall cost of this project at £300 million (US $548 million).
Ethiopia is not the only country facing such a crisis. India, too, is facing similar threats, and the entire country participated in tree plantation as part of the week-long ‘Van Mahotsav’ festival. The Governments of Northeastern states like Assam and Meghalaya have also participated in tree plantation drives to help preserve the environment.
Inside Northeast’s Campaign #LetsSaveDeeporBeel is now supported by Oil India Limited (OIL). Join us as we continue the awareness campaign to preserve the only Ramsar site in Assam which is facing immense threats. We need your help to preserve this site of great ecological importance. Join the #LetsSaveDeeporBeel campaign and tweet about it, and do tag us on Twitter. Let’s make some noise!