A Manicaland-based mining concern, DTZ-OZGEO has embarked on an environmental awareness campaign that includes the planting of both exotic and indigenous trees as part of its social responsibility programme in schools.
A senior official with the gold and diamond mining company, Tetiana Tkachenko said the programme, which kicked off in November last year, has seen over 5 000 trees planted around six schools in Penhalonga near Mutare.
The project, which started with the planting of trees at Muchena School in Mutasa district, will also run eight other local schools.
"At first our company commenced tree planting campaigns with the local children at local schools under our social responsibility programme," said Tkachenko. "We planted trees around the school together with school children, teachers and the headmaster."
The company envisages the project developing into a full-fledged programme which will see the establishment of an educational curriculum on indigenous trees and herbs for schools in the country.
"Children will be told about the indigenous vegetation of their native country and the importance of flora and preserving its unique nature," she said. "Then the pupils will have a chance to plant those trees and herbs that they studied and take care of them at a special nursery in order to give new life to the expanses of their motherland later."
Tkachenko said the hands-on experience would help students realise the importance of taking care of the environment.
She added that the programme would be carried out under the supervision of professional environmentalists that DTZ-OZGEO engages in its rehabilitation and other environmental programmes.
By planting trees, the company said it strived to rehabilitate the areas they would have mined.
The company is involved in the mining of gold and diamonds in Penhalonga and Chimanimani respectively.