Speaking to The Guardian in separate interviews at the weekend, the Managing Director of the Kilimanjaro Consortium for Development and Environment (KCDE) and the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Ambassador for Tanzania, Rev Prof Aidan Msafiri and the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Dr Anna Mghwira said that it is the only way of honouring Dr Mengi, who was passionate about tree planting and environmental conservation as a whole.
“I appeal to the government to officially declare the day Dr Mengi passed away as a special day for tree-planting in the country,” suggested Prof Msafiri in an interview with this paper.
RC Mghwira said that considering the late Dr Mengi’s contribution in environmental conservation whereby he sponsored planting of millions of trees in the country, there can be no other befitting way of remembering him than planting trees.
“We are proud of late Dr Mengi for his outstanding contribution towards greening Kilimanjaro region in particular and Tanzania in general. We must continue these efforts because our country has for the past 20 years been adversely affected by environmental degradation,” she stated.
If granted, the Dr Reginald Mengi National Tree-Planting Day will help inculcate the culture of loving and protecting the environment among Tanzanians for generations to come, and make the country greener and cleaner, Prof Msafiri asserted.
He pointed out that it is important for Tanzanians to plant trees during individual and family special events such as birthdays and other ceremonies for the country to have a sustainable environment.
Commenting on his organisation and projects they have implemented so far, Prof Msafiri explained that KCDE, which is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in January this year has undertaken several development and environmental awareness projects through training, capacity building and community services.
“We have planted more than 200 trees in Hedaru area in Same district and we are set to plant more than 3500 trees in Moshi by next week in our efforts to conserve the coutntry’s environment,” he said.
The organization is continuing with dissemination of its environmental and development awareness to public schools, mosques and churches in a programme which started in January.
“We involve members of the community particularly those who live around conservation areas in the protection of conserved natural forests and wildlife. This is vital for sustainable environmental protection and conservation,” the clergyman underlined.