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Why we should support FCT’s approach to green city initiative

There is strong evidence that a clean and green city not only promotes a healthy and beautiful environment but also enhances the potentials of the…

There is strong evidence that a clean and green city not only promotes a healthy and beautiful environment but also enhances the potentials of the given city as a major tourist destination. 

 Over the past decade, interest in city greening has been revived, as government and civic groups around the world have revitalized run down city parks, community open spaces, built greenways along rivers, and planted gardens in vacant plots. A city like Copenhagen in Denmark, already referred to as the European Green capital due to the environmental actions it has taken, aims to be carbon neutral by 2025. Stockholm (Sweden) intends to be fossil-fuel free by the year 2050, with the vision being set and pursued since the 1970s. Vancouver in Canada mentioned in 2012, its desire to be the greenest city in the world by 2020.

 In Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, details of the much talked about “Greater Green City Initiative” is now beginning to unravel with concrete plans being made by the FCT Administration to institutionalize this initiative.  

 Among the measures being introduced by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammd Musa Bello, to make Abuja very green and echo friendly is to give special consideration to corporate institutions that wish to set up gardens, parks and other green areas in the FCT as part of their corporate social responsibility and have these places named after their organizations. They are to identify any place of their choice in the capital city and the FCT minister will grant them access. In exchange, they’ll be responsible for making it green by planting a few trees, flowers and other plants and nurturing them. 

 In addition to this, there is plan to have a complete package that will incorporate tree planting and beautification of road corridors as well as road median into road contracts to be awarded henceforth in the FCT. Already, the pilot phase of this project has commenced along the airport road to study its feasibility. 

Under this pilot scheme, contractors have been asked to plant and nurture trees on the road median as well as the road corridors as part of their contractual obligation. The contract of the airport road will now no longer be a single contract that after completion of your job, the contractor winds off and there will be no contract anymore. What is happening now is that trees of different levels are being planted along the corridor of the road with a semblance of a palm city at the road median, which will be barricaded to prevent people from walking across.  

As laudable as this initiative is, it is not enough to just ask contractors to plant trees and leave them at the mercy of vandals. The minister is trying to introduce something similar to the City Guard of London to protect these infrastructures from destruction. Surveillance cabins are being installed along the roads for monitoring purposes. The plan is to have the city guards equipped with bikes to patrol the distance in order to protect what has been planted from being destroyed. 

There is no doubt that this strategy that the FCTA has introduced will go a long way in changing the attitude of the people and make them more responsible.  Abuja is one of the few cities with a master plan in the whole Africa and it must be made to become a tourist attraction to all African states. 

 It is good to see that the FCTA has started the pilot phase of this initiative along the airport road which is the entry point to the nation’s capital. Hopefully, it would be spread to other parts of the city to improve the overall ambience.  

The capital of Nigeria, one of few purposely built cities in the world is remarkable in its way and any effort to make it a truly model city should be pursued.

Danladi Akilu wrote this piece from Gudu District, Abuja 

 

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