As Jamaica grapples with the impact of the prevailing drought, the Forestry Department has undertaken to water seedlings planted for the National Labour Day project, using alternatives to National Water Commission (NWC) resources.
The planting of 10,000 trees along Highway 2000, in the vicinity of Hartlands, is this year’s National Labour Day project under the theme ‘Plant a Tree for Life – Promoting Climate Change Mitigation, Food Security and Road Safety’.
The trees will be planted on land adjacent to approximately 2.5 kilometres of the P.J. Patterson Highway (Highway 2000) in the vicinity of the Hartlands Underpass.
Chief Executive Officer and Conservator of Forests, Forestry Department, Ainsley Henry, told JIS News that the agency will be responsible for maintaining the trees that are planted.
“We have put in place an arrangement to facilitate trucking of water to the site and we will be using water… from rivers and canals… that has not been treated… for irrigating the planting site,” he said.
Mr. Henry advised that the site will be monitored regularly, adding that the agency will implement a detailed schedule to ensure the maintenance and watering of the trees.
“Obviously when it rains, we wouldn’t be doing any watering. But outside of that, we would facilitate watering,” he said.
Mr. Henry assured that if there is no rain for about two to three days, the agency will take steps to water the plants.
Regarding the installation of protective devices around the seedlings, Mr. Henry said the Forestry Department does not have the capacity to carry out this undertaking.
He advised, however, that the agency is in dialogue with community members and councillors in the area to assist in safeguarding the trees.
Mr. Henry noted that several persons from neighbouring communities assisted with site preparation for the Labour Day project.
“The hope is that the people nearby will also help to protect these trees. But we will be monitoring on a regular basis and, indeed, if it becomes necessary to enhance the protection, we will do so,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Henry encourages Jamaicans to use domestic wastewater from baths, sinks and washing machines to water the trees planted.
“Plants don’t mind that the water has been used before; in fact, that’s a part of nature’s way of purifying water. So, if your sink has water, you can catch it to water the plants in the yard,” he added.
Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson
Source: Jamaica Information Service (JIS)