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Climate Action Summit: Cardinal Arinze Visits COOU, Kicks-Start Planting Of One Million Trees

By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

The Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, earlier today visited Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Igbariam Campus where he kicked started the planting of one million trees aimed at cushioning the effects of climate change as well as forstalling the future hazardous damages the change may cause.

Cardinal Arinze who planted four different symbolic trees, using 1st Corinthians Chapter 13 verse 13 and gave the names of the symbolic trees as Faith ,Hope, Love and Blessing.

He prayed for God’s abundant blessings upon the Management of the institution, staff, and the entire students, asking God to make the trees a great shelter where love, hope, faith and blessing would be received, shared, deployed, utilized and practicalized.

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Receiving the Cardinal the Acting Vice Chancellor of COOU, Professor Kate Omenugha, fnipr expressed gratitude to God for the gift of His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze and for using him to blessed and plant the trees which opened the doors for further planting, saying that they would takeoff with a Climate Action Summit billed to hold on 17th July 2024, and that COOU’s 5-Year Strategic Roadmap for Tree Planting and Climate Action 2024-2029 would be launched, adding that their target was to plant
1 million trees in COOU in the next 5 years.

In an interview, the Chairman of COOU’s climate Change and Tree Planting Committee, Professor Kingsley Nwozor noted that the Varsity had suffered severely from the Climate Change and had serious damages that caused millions of naira to fixed, stating that the roofs of some Faculties, departments were blown away by wind ocassioned by Climate Change.

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‘It has affected everything here. More grasses and weeds are growing rapidly instead of trees, we are painting and repainting our buildings almost every two years. We are the worst hit. If you look around you you will see what I’m talking about. We are going to checkmate it using trees. We are targeting to plant at least 700 hundred trees at Administratve Block. We will develop VC’s orchard.

‘It is going be in both sides, back and corners of the building. These and more are what we are planning to do put an end to these natural disasters. We are partnering with credible agencies and partners. Public spirited individuals are keying into this noble initiative. We thank our Vice Chancellor, Professor Kate Omenugha, fnipr for mooting the idea. She brought the idea and we are developing and leveraging it.

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‘We are going to ensure that cover all our roads with trees that offer shelter. The scorching sun had done a lot of harms to the Institution. The heat has caused us so much and we are doing everything humanly possible to arrest the situation.

‘The Cardinal planted the tree of Faith, Love, Hope and Blessing. They are symbolic. We have Iroko, Oak trees, and others,’ he concluded.

Cardinal’s interactive Lecture with Management, Staff and Students, group photographs, planting of the symbolic trees formed the highlights of the event.