Residents of Yei plant trees to commemorate South Sudan’s 10th anniversary of independence.
“Trees are eternal; they bring shade, shelter, and fruit for everyone,” Raina Moses, a resident of Yei, South Sudan, said at a tree-planting ceremony in her town to mark the country’s tenth anniversary of independence.
“I chose to participate in this event because I believe that the seedlings we are planting will blossom into a light of peace for future generations. Our lives are already fraught with enough turmoil. It is past time to envision a flourishing future in which we coexist as one people,” she continued.
9 July 2021 was a unique day for all South Sudanese communities, as they gathered together not only to honour their sisters and brothers’ sacrifices to achieve independence ten years ago but also to reflect the future nation they want to live in as citizens.
“Trees, saplings, and crops sustain us and enable us to construct a better future for future generations,” noted David Bala, executive director of the Crop Training Center and National Agriculture & Food Society.
Mr. Bala asked attendees to join in the ceremony by planting a tree. “Today, when we plant a seedling, it is not only a gesture of memory. It is a pledge to live as a nation, as a people. These trees will remain standing for the next 50 years, bearing witness to our commitment to peace.”
Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa, County Commissioner, echoed Mr. Bala’s comments. “Planting trees is a form of life planting.”
Santino Ale, County Commissioner’s Political Adviser, remembered a time when Yei was dubbed’small London’ due to its verdant surroundings. “By planting trees today, we are reminiscing about a time when we all lived in peace and Yei was akin to heaven. We can once again be a light of hope and peace if we work together,” he remarked.
The Forest Conservers Association organised the tree planting ceremony in partnership with the Yei Green Home Agriculture Program. Over 50 participants planted over 80 fruit and non-fruit trees throughout Yei.