Freetown — Mauna Gbattie, an umbrella organization for the Lokos with support from Sierra Gem Company, Airtel and the government of Sierra Leone, has undertaken a nation-wide tree planting exercise that is geared towards ameliorating the spate of global warming in the country.
Formed on 15 May 1982, the Mauna Gbattie club has undertaken series of national development programmes including cleaning of the city, building of schools and engaging in rural agriculture especially in the Bombali district, northern Sierra Leone. From 1989 to 1992, the club undertook a cleaning exercise which covered the then SLBS compound, the FSSG compound, Youyi building and other strategic locations in the city. Also in 1985, the club, in collaboration with community members, constructed the Kalangba Agricultural Secondary School, which has and still serving the educational needs of that community. Currently, the Mauna Gbattie club is engaged in huge commercial farming in the Bombali district covering Mayoko, Mamaka and other villages.
National coordinator of the club, Dr. Sheku B. Saccoh, who was Sierra Leone's Ambassador to neighbouring Guinea, said the club has contributed a lot to national development and that the symbolic tree planting was in direct tune with the President's Agenda for Change.
Attitudinal change, according to him, means to do something better than before and that they were ready to improve the country in their own little way.
"Muana Gbattie has contributed a lot to the development of Sierra Leone in diverse ways.We are ready to sacrifice again for the benefit of all and sundry. We are undertaking this nation-wide tree planting to complement the president agenda for change. We are displaying attitudinal change by doing things better than before," he said.
Dr. Saccoh noted that the exercise will last for four years and that the first phase will cover from Freetown to Kamakwie, while the second phase will cover Makeni to Kabala in the Northern Province.
The retired grassroots politician, who loves to be called the "Munku politician", lauded Sierra Gem Company for what he referred to as their tremendous moral and financial support in the implementation of the project.
He disclosed that the diamond dealing company supported him with the necessary seedlings, transportation and physical cash of about Le4 million to undertake the project across the country.
Chairman of Sierra Gem Company, Dr. Ankur Purohit noted that he had no iota of doubt in supporting the tree planting exercise spearheaded by the retired politician. He disclosed that he knew the former as being very hard working and expressed that his company will continue to support the tree planting exercise as part of his social responsibility.
S.Y. Tholly, a horticulturist attached to Sierra Gem Company, revealed that the exercise resumed in early June this year and that they have covered villages along the highway including Lumpa at Waterloo, Masiaka, Mafella, Masomaila, Maboreh, Gbarray Junction, Feradugu, Massanassie, Gbomsamba, Yenkisaa, Macoth, Worreh Mory and Madina.
According to him, the trees planted include Moringa - which he said could cure about 350 types of diseases - acacia, cashew and mango.
He concluded that the trees have the capacity of lasting for long years and one that would serve the nation in diverse ways.