09 September 2022
Al Baraka Bank heeded a Government appeal to help with ‘greening’ communities by facilitating the planting of some 300 trees at eight schools around South Africa during this year’s National Arbor Week.
Arbor Week, celebrated during the first week of September, is widely regarded as an opportunity for South Africans to plant indigenous trees to practically support sustainable environmental management across the country. ‘Greening’ refers to the integrated approach to the planting, care and management of vegetation in both urban and rural areas as a means of securing benefits for communities.
Commenting on its 2022 Arbor Week commitment, Al Baraka Bank’s Sustainability and Social Responsibility Officer, Ms Fathima Mohamed, said: “The importance of this week is to highlight the critical need for greater numbers of trees in our environment and the necessity to create widespread awareness about the benefits they afford us. This cannot and should not be under-estimated.”
“Actively planting trees contributes to reforestation efforts, the restoration of lost forests and the repairing of eco-systems damaged by humans, whilst impacting positively on climate change.”
The Bank embarked on a comprehensive Arbor Week Drive this year, collaborating with schools nationally to plant 300 trees, whilst simultaneously encouraging participating schools to undertake awareness activities.
She added that Bank staff had also participated in the tree-planting exercise and consultants used the opportunity to explain to learners’ various aspects of financial literacy, such as savings and budgeting.
“We partnered with service providers to assist with the co-ordination of the event and took new young trees to eight schools in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape during the course of Arbor Week.”
In Cape Town, and assisted by the Fusion Inyameko Foundation which sourced appropriate trees, 100 trees were planted at Al Azhar High School, Alpine Primary School and Mitchell’s Plain High School.
Meanwhile in Durban, and assisted by Kwesa Environmental Consulting – which sourced indigenous trees and participated in invaluable environmental awareness discussions with learners – a further 100 trees were planted at Phoenix Muslim School, Tshelimnyama Primary School and Simla Primary School, while in Gauteng, another 100 trees were rooted in the grounds of EP Bauman Primary School and UJ Metropolitan Academy.
Ms Mohamed said: “Not only do trees assist in absorbing harmful carbon dioxide, while improving air-quality by releasing oxygen back into the environment, they also help bind the soil, preventing erosion and slowing the effects of flooding.”
“There can be no question that we, the animals around us and the wider environment depend hugely on trees for our very survival, making the replacement of lost trees so very important. In view of this, Al Baraka Bank believes that it has a social responsibility to play a meaningfully active role in both improving environmental awareness in schools and in helping in the daunting battle to effectively reverse environmental degradation by donating and planting trees across South Africa,” she added.