Chief Ede Dafinone, Chairman, National Executive Council of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) led his siblings on a tree planting exercise in Sapele on Monday, 30th September 2019 in memory of their father, late Chief (Senator) David Omueya Dafinone, OFR who passed on, on 30th September 2018.

 

According to Chief Ede Dafinone: “When a great man dies we typically say ‘an Iroko has fallen’.  So, it is appropriate that this day, an Iroko seedling will be planted in the garden of the crumb rubber exporting factory established by my father in Amukpe, Sapele, Delta State.” 

 

Chief Dafinone hopes to use the tree planting exercise to draw attention to Nigeria’s dwindling forest cover which now stands at about 4% while also drumming support for the conservation efforts of NCF. He said further that tree planting to commemorate births and deaths is common in some Asian countries and if this trend is established in Nigeria, it can become one of the anchors of NCF’s Green Recovery Nigeria (GRN) initiative.

 

Dafinone said: “To plant a tree is to send a signal to the rest of Nigeria that we need to preserve our land. This Iroko tree planted in my father’s memory will grow up to 500 years. While some people are cutting trees and destroying forests, we will continue to plant trees”

 

Hon. Emmanuel Agbaje, the Finance and Admin Manager of Sapele Integrated Industries Ltd (SIIL) in his introductory remark revealed that Senator Dafinone established the factory in 1995 for the processing of rubber because Sapele is known for large rubber plantation and the founder of SIIL remained one of the largest employers of labour of the time. Chief Ede Dafinone, appreciated the support of the staff of SIIL and community people of Sapele, Amukpe especially as they have immortalized the Senator a day before. 

 

Present at the event were Chief (Mrs.) Cynthia Dafinone, widow of the Senator; Chief Godfrey Dafinone, deceased brother; Mr. Duvie Dafinone, the deceased's son; Mrs. Eyamba Dafinone and Mrs. Stella Dafinone, daughters-in-law; management staff of SIIL, media, security agents among others.

 

In a bid to contribute to the fight against coastal erosion in Lagos, Rotary International through Rotary Club Ikoyi Metro in collaboration with Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) engaged in tree planting and beach clean-up activities at the Alpha Beach, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.

Over 50 seedlings of coconut trees (cocos nucifera) were planted along the sea shore to cushion the effect of sea surge that constantly wash off the sands at the beach.  

 

The promotion of a sustainable environment is part of the projects the Club is embarking on to contribute to national development.

 

The community people who dwell at the bay welcomed members of the club and NCF staff to the beach and joined in the activities.

 

Dr. Joseph Onoja, the Director of Technical Programme, NCF while addressing the participants mentioned that through the satellite imagery, it was discovered that some communities and a road network that was originally at the beach had been washed off due to water rise level within the last 15years. Urging stakeholders to salvage the situation to avoid further damage to the remaining communities.

 

He said “In 2018, NCF conducted a research that revealed that if drastic actions are not taken, most coastal areas of Lagos will be submerged into water by the year 2050. We are happy the government has continued to put groins in place which were part of our recommendations. More of this has to be done extensively. We shall continue our campaign.”

 

Ms. Delight Sunday, President of the Club, expressed her joy for the opportunity to provide certain measure of solution to the environmental challenge of the people. She appreciated NCF for the willingness to partner and effort so far in fighting the menace.

 

To strengthen the Partnership, A committee made up of representatives of NCF, RI D9110 and RC Ikoyi Metro to further deepen the Partnership was created.

 

The exercise was graced by District Leaders for environment and the supervising AG of the Club, PAG, Past Presidents and other members of the club assisted by the personnel of the sponsors.

 

In addition to the handpickers and gloves made available for the clean-up exercise, the wastes collected at the beach were bagged into bio-degradable materials and properly disposed at dumpsites.