Media Release: Kruger National Park inspires learners and communities through Arbor Week Launch
08 September 2017
The Kruger National Park (KNP)’s General Manager, People and Conservation Helen Mmethi handed over 180 indigenous medicinal plants to learners at Lugedlani Primary, neighbouring schools and other stakeholders on behalf of Management yesterday, 7 September 2017; at Tonga in Mangweni Village outside Malelane Gate as part of the Arbor Week celebrations.
The trees of the year (common and rare) were planted to symbolise the Arbor Week celebration; and stakeholders who attended the event each received an indigenous tree.
“The Arbor Week celebration at Lugedlani Primary today seals the partnership the Park developed last year with the school, and we plan to take it further to ensure that proper greening of the school and the surrounding communities is enhanced. We encourage villagers to plant these medicinal trees in their backyards to strengthen the school project and to boost their health as the trees could provide herbs, roots, twigs and bark for the soothing and healing of many common standard ailments.” said Mmethi.
Various role players, including the local municipality, Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Agency, other government departments and community members were encouraged to rally behind the project. Mmethi encouraged the beneficiaries to regularly check on the trees’ progress, asking them to safeguard the species as most of them are endangered because of their medicinal value.
The Park engages with community forums and other relevant committees to build capacity and assist local communities to come up with ideas, develop and implement sustainable greening projects in their communities. These types of projects are part of the government’s expanded public works programme; which form part of the KNP’s broader strategy for economic empowerment and social responsibility line-up aimed at communities around the Park.
The Arbor celebrations in the KNP will see the handover and planting of more trees up to a total of approximately 1000 at various areas in the local communities bordering the Park.
The KNP’s General Manager, People and Conservation, Helen Mmethi together with the Members of the Mayoral Committee: Nkomazi Local Municipality – Zandile Shungube and Solomon Mahlalela plant the tree of the year Ziziphus Mucronata; common name Buffalo thorn to launch the 2017 Arbor Week celebrations at Lugedlane Primary School.
Lugedlane learners render poems on the importance of looking after the environment.
Ms Helen Mmethi gives an overview/purpose of the celebration.
Lugedlane learners and educators entertained the stakeholders with traditional dance.
South African National Parks (SANParks) - Communications and Marketing Department - Kruger National Park
GM: Communications and Marketing Department, Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919