Over 4.5 Billion Seedlings to be Planted along Nile Basin

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Addis Ababa July 8/2021 (ENA) Ministry of Agriculture disclosed that over 4.5 billion tree seedlings will be planted along the Nile River basin this rainy season.

Besides contributing to environmental protection, proper planting of the seedlings will extend the life of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) from 140 to 375 years by reducing siltation.

Agriculture State Minister, Sani Redi said Ethiopia has been planting tree seedlings to meet the goal of 20 billion seedlings in four years and meet 30 percent national forest coverage by 2030.

He added that over 7.4 billion seedlings are prepared this year alone, of which 4.5 billion will be planted along the Nile basin.

Sani pointed out that coordinated efforts are underway to maintain the natural resources conservation around the Nile basin.

According to him, planting of the seedlings will cover 96 woredas of Oromia, 90 woredas of Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambela, SNNP, and most parts of Tigray regions.

The state minister noted that planting of the seedlings is aimed at reducing siltation on GERD and has already started.  

GERD is an existential matter, Sani said, and emphasized that keeping the safety of the dam is also of great importance.

The country could save up to 140 billion USD if it reduces the dam’s siltation by 50 percent, he revealed.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commissioner, Professor Fekadu Beyene said GERD has paramount benefits not only for Ethiopia but also for the continent and the entire world.

It is useful for energy generation, bio-diversity conservation, forestry and job creation, he pointed out.

The commissioner stated that the seedlings given to neighboring countries will also enhance regional cooperation for mutual development.