In a move to restore the mining area’s environment and mitigate the effects of climate change, Khoemacau Copper Mine in partnership with Absa Bank Botswana have committed to plant about 2 000 trees in Toteng village, surrounding areas and the mine site.
The tree planting initiative which was held under the theme ‘Ecosystem restoration and Carbon sequestration’ commenced in Zone 5 and continued in Toteng Kgotla on Saturday. At Zone 5, 15 trees were planted out of the 30 that will be planted at the site. The Buffalo Thorn (Mokgalo-Ziziphus Mucronata) was named tree of the year.
KCM’s Environment and Community Relations Officer, Johnny Marudu explained that prior to mining in the area they cleared off the veld in order to develop the mine, adding that as part of their environmental impact assessment requirements, they have to plant back the trees lost during construction. He said that they have previously planted trees at the mine, adding that is a continuous process of progressive rehabilitation.
Marudu stated that they progressively plant trees in open spaces to ensure to ensure the rehabilitation of the area to its near original state.
He explained that trees are very important, especially now that they have to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Marudu has revealed that next year they intend to plant fruit trees to continue with their initiative. He added that the 2 000 trees that will be planted this year were purchased from local nurseries, as a way of empowering small businesses in the area.
Khoemacau Copper Mine Chief Executive Officer, Johan Ferreira said their initiative to plant trees is a symbol of life restoration and journey of development that can benefit all. He said that tree planting symbolises the start of life comparable to the mine which shows a journey of growth and development. He said trees are important as they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide shade and food.
Meanwhile, First Lady Jane Masisi emphasised that effects of climate change such as change in rain patterns, extremely high and low temperatures can only be mitigated by efforts such as that of planting more trees. She thus commended Khoemacau mine for playing a part in saving the environment by planting trees. Masisi has also encouraged Toteng residents to plant trees as they provide important products such as fruits, shade and also beautify the environment.