The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has said it will be removing and replacing desert trees destroying public infrastructure across the territory.
Officials of the FCTA reveal that “enterolobium trees” with deep roots, meant for desert areas, were erroneously planted at the reforestation stages of developing the capital city.
The Director, Engineering Services of the Federal Capital Development Authority, Engr. Ferdinand Ezeoha, who spoke during the symbolic planting of trees donated to the FCTA by Women in Energy, Oil and Gas, confirmed that though tree planting has been part of the infrastructural provision for the city, however, the wrong choice of trees was made from the beginning.
Ezeoha noted that the roots of some trees planted in the earlier stages of developing the FCT were affecting road asphalt around Maitama and Jabi districts, and therefore should be removed and replaced immediately.
He said: “At the beginning of Abuja, unfortunately, the kind of trees that were planted are now destroying our infrastructure. If you go to places like the Maitama district and Jabi district, you would see that a lot of trees are now affecting our asphalt. There was a mistake right from the beginning on the type of trees being planted and we’ve decided to correct that now, by planting trees in which their roots will not damage our infrastructure.
“Tree planting has been part of the infrastructural provision for the city., which is why there is an area known as the Green verge between the asphalt area and the walkway for planting trees.”
It was gathered that Enterolobium trees were planted after the clearing and deforestation of the FCT in the 80s. Officials of Parks and Recreation department of the FCTA say the urgent need for reforestation of the city at the time, led to the urgent planting of the species of trees but unfortunately, these are no longer applicable in the development of a mega city like Abuja.
Meanwhile, the Director, Parks and Recreation FCT, Isaiah Ukpana, is optimistic that the trees donated by the women’s group will support the FCTA’s effort of replacing 20,000 trees at 3 selected districts of Katampe, Wuye and Guzape districts.
“We started this exercise during the World Environment Day to combat the certification, then we proceeded to Wuye district to start the tree planting and now we are in the Guzape district to continue the exercise.
“We hope to plant 20,000 trees in the 3 selected districts, Wuye and Guzape districts, together with Katampe extension and we have made a lot of progress in this regard because where we are now is a continuation of that effort.”
He said the administration has a sustainable strategy of ensuring the freshly planted trees survive the human and environmental forces.
“We have water tankers to water the plants, we also made provision for chemicals that will be applied and we always encourage residents to love trees because they bring the people together. Finally, We would continue to enlighten citizens on the need to protect trees and not to destroy them.”