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Giza is getting a bit more green as part of the “A million roses and 10,000 trees initiative.” Al-Amal Association for Development launched the project several months ago and has so far planted 7,000 trees in squares and on streets around Giza, in cooperation with governorate officials. The green initiative is also targeting Cairo, Alexandria and Matrouh governorates.
The association’s goal is to encourage citizens to make a positive change by beautifying their environment and planting trees in public, says Al-Amal chairman Samy al-Qurainy.
Increasing green spaces may also help reduce the accumulation of litter and waste if residents become more invested in caring for their neighborhoods.
“We don’t have enough green areas in governorates and cities, especially in the highly populated ones and those with high pollution rates such as Cairo and Alexandria,” says Ahmed Younis, the national coordinator of the Arab Youth Climate Movement, an international environmental group of young activists. “Planting trees can help eliminate the increasing carbon dioxide emissions which, in turn, help mitigate the effects of climate change.”
Giza Governor Ali Abdel Rahman says that popular public places, tourist and archaeological sites and impoverished neighborhoods were earmarked for the tree plantings. The General Authority for Cleanliness and Beautification in Giza also assigned groups of workers to plant the trees on main streets and in front of the governmental buildings, and to care for them.
Younis says the governorate must connect appropriate irrigation systems to the planted trees to avoid wasting water. He suggested using treated wastewater rather than fresh water.
“This can be effective in a country like Egypt where many places suffer from water scarcity,” he says. “As a climate change movement, we are ready to support any reforestation project.”
This piece was originally published in Egypt Independent's weekly print edition.