A Billion Tree Tsunami Program nursery in Swat.
MANSEHRA: The forest department has planted over 2.5 million trees in Mansehra district under the Billion Tree Tsunami Programme of the provincial government and two million more trees would be planted till 2018.
“People have realised that forests and trees are very important for them and their generations to come and they enthusiastically took part in the Billion Tree Tsunami Programme in the district,” Ijaz Qadir, the divisional forest officer (watershed department), told a gathering held in connection with the tree plantation drive in Kupigalli area of Balakot on Saturday.
Range officer Rustam Khan, district councillor Abdul Majid and tehsil councillor Mohammad Ashfaq also spoke on the occasion.
Mr Qadir said that that people of Balakot tehsil were taking interest in the plantation drive after realising that the 2005 earthquake had caused much higher human and property losses owing to less forests in the tehsil.
“A single tree can supply oxygen to at least 36 children for the entire year and maintains environment free of health hazards,” said Mr Qadir. He said that though in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over 26 per cent area was under forests, situation in the remaining parts of country was alarming as only five per cent area was under forests.
“Cutting a young tree is not only a great sin, but by doing so we also deprive our people of the healthy environment to live,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Rustam Khan said that owing to the large-scale plantation in Balakot and other parts of the district the soil erosion would also come down.
Published in Dawn