Take care of Trees, they will take care of You

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Take care of Trees, they will take care of You

Published on: September 27th, 2021

An organisation based in Johannesburg organisation Africa Tikkun wants to plant millions of trees to help improve quality air and the biodiversity in urban areas. With the help of community members, thousands of trees are planted in communities like Diepsloot.

Taking part in efforts to green communities will help create ‘green lungs’ which would help reduce global warming, according to Cape Town-based organisation, AfriStar Foundation.

Planting trees helps to create ‘green lungs’ in cities, which aid in the reduction of global warming, carbon emissions and the urban heat island effect. Additionally, trees improve local air quality,

The other benefits of planting trees, according to the foundation, is that the biodiversity of urban areas drastically increases, while providing habitat for birds and small animals, and supplying fresh fruit and welcome shade to people in the community.

Tree planting also increases water retention in township soils, create natural and pleasant noise barriers, and add both aesthetic and economic value.

The planting of trees in townships, something that many people couldn’t do in their own backyards because the size of the yards allocated to them, is now becoming a part of people’s lifestyle. Trees were often planted on main roads, at a park nearby or in schoolyards where there was enough space.

In townships like Diepsloot, an organisation called Afrika Tikkun is on a mission to plant more trees, with the aim of improving the air quality. The project started in 2018 and to date, hundreds of trees are being planted in other townships.

On the organisation’s website, the then CEO Marc Lubner, is quoted saying he was the one who started the regreening projects that would benefit the township’s residents. The organisation said the regreening projects are informed by their values, one being the values of responsible kindness.

“There’s a need for Afrika Tikkun to demonstrate in practical terms, how, through the planting of trees, we can teach moral regeneration and the value of life,” Lubner said.

Lubner said children from an early should be taught the values of caring for a plant.

“If a child is taught the value of caring for the life of a plant, then the child will treasure and value all lives. As a result, in September 2019, Afrika Tikkun’s Wings of Life Centre in Diepsloot, partnered with Plantnation to plant 80 trees at the centre and at the Basa Tutorial School,” he explained.

Trees that are planted by the organisation are mainly indigenous and local fruit trees, which makes them adaptable to all weather conditions and consume less water – such trees are good to plant in areas where there is water scarcity.

According to the organisation, in June 2020, an assessment was done to determine how many of the trees survived – about 90% of the trees were able to keep their bodies and soul together.

David Mokwena, a primary caretaker of the trees at Wings of Life Centre, told the organisation in 2020 that he enjoys this task of nurturing the trees. Mokwena said he waters the trees at least three days a week.

“I’m happy the trees are growing so well; they look so green and healthy,” David said, who added and said although 5 trees died out of the 80, that still made him sad.