Over 4.5bln Tree Seedlings Along Nile Basin, Ministry of Agri says

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia will plant 4.5 billion tree seedlings along the Nile River basin during the current rainy season, the ministry of agriculture announced on Thursday.

The East African nation launched its tree planting campaign at the beginning of the ongoing rainy season as part of its ‘’Green Legacy’’ project to promote eco-tourism and combat the effects of climate change.

The country has already readied 7.4 billion seedlings to be planted during the 2021 edition of Green Legacy initiative.

Of these, about 4.5 billion will be planted along the Nile basin, said Sani Redi, state minister of agriculture, while speaking to the state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA).

The planting campaign aims to extend the life span of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) from 140 to 375 years by reducing siltation, according to ENA.

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.
Sani said the planting campaign will cover seven regional states within the basin.

The Green Legacy project which begins in mid-May will continue until September and October. Officials said over 10 billion trees were planted in the first two years of the ‘Green Legacy’ project. The aim is to plant 20 billion trees by 2022.

The government also plans to send one billion seedlings to neighboring countries this year.