In a bid to address climate change by creating awareness and educating communities about climate change, MTN has planted 3 500 trees in four months and the telecommunications giant is on course to reach its target of 5 500 by Earth Day, next month.
In partnership with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), MTN planted a total of 1 500 trees in Pretoria and Limpopo on Thursday as part of World Water Day celebrations. The 1 500 consisted 500 trees at Lotus Gardens, an RDP settlement outside Pretoria and the remaining 1 000 were planted in the Nthabiseng and Dendron settlements in Limpopo.
By Earth Day on Sunday, 22 April, MTN and FTFA will have reached their target of planting 5 500 trees across South Africa in six months. At the opening of the COP17 Conference in Durban last year, MTN and FTFA launched a project called MTN Trees for Homes. The launch culminated in the planting of 2 000 trees at the Nazareth Sports Ground in Pinetown west of Durban.Creating an ecosystem for wildlife
Many settlements in South Africa are left bare as a result of trees being cut down during construction. These areas are more susceptible to damage caused by wind and rain. It is such areas that MTN Trees for Homes targets. The trees help settle dust, create an ecosystem for wildlife, improve biodiversity and the value of the houses and reduce energy usage by providing shade in summer.
"Planting trees was adopted last year as part of MTN's corporate social investment initiative. Last year MTN Group planted over 60 000 trees across its footprint in 21 countries, as part of our annual employee volunteer initiative, 21 Days of Y'ello Care. Our aim is to plant a total of 150 000 by the end of June 2012," says Rich Mkhondo, executive for MTN group corporate affairs.
FTFA has distributed over four million trees and created thousands of organic food gardens in poor communities across South Africa in the past 22 years. MTN and FTFA will plant the remaining trees in Welkom, Free State and Ducats, Eastern Cape in April in celebration of Earth Day.