Yei residents plant trees to highlight a culture of peace as South Sudan marks 10 years of Independence
“Trees are eternal; they provide shade, shelter and fruit for everyone,” said Raina Moses, a resident of Yei, South Sudan, during a tree planting ceremony in her town to commemorate a decade of independence in this young nation.
“I decided to participate in this event because these saplings we are placing in the ground will grow to become a beacon of harmony for future generations. We have had enough conflict in our lives. It is time to look towards a prosperous future where we live as one people,” she added.
9 July 2021 was a special day for all South Sudanese communities as they came together not only to remember the sacrifices made by their sisters and brothers to gain independence 10 years ago, but also to reflect future nation they want as citizens.
“Trees, saplings, crops—they feed us, keep us alive so that we can forge a better life for future generations,” stated David Bala, head of the Crop Training Center and National Agriculture & Food Society.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Bala urged everybody to participate in planting a tree. “When we place a sapling in the ground today, it is not merely an act of remembrance. It is a vow to live life as one nation, one people. These trees will be here for the next 50 years and bear witness to our resolve for peace.”
County Commissioner Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa echoed Mr. Bala's sentiments. “Planting trees is planting life.”
For his part, Santino Ale, Political Adviser to the County Commissioner, recalled a time when Yei was described as ‘small London’ because of its verdant environment. “By planting trees today, we are harking back to a time when we all coexisted in harmony and Yei was akin to paradise. With our collective efforts, we can once again stand as a beacon of hope and peace,” he stated.
The tree planting ceremony was facilitated by the Forest Conservers Association in collaboration with the Yei Green Home Agriculture Programme. More than 50 participants planted some 80 fruits and non-fruit trees at different locations in Yei.