A BULAWAYO-BASED arborist has embarked on a tree and flower planting exercise at the city’s dumpsites to rehabilitate them and preserve the environment.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Ishmael Penyai, a resident of Famona low-density suburb, has turned some garbage dumpsites in the suburb into lovely lush-green sites through his programme.
“My desire is to plant flowers and trees on all the dumping sites in the city. I believe that can be achieved as long as all stakeholders come together and share ideas on how to preserve our environment,” said Penyai, who also runs a thriving indigenous tree seed centre at his house.
“So far, I have planted flowers and trees on five dumpsites in Famona. Some of these sites had become an eyesore and dangerous. Some people were mugged at night at some of these sites, before my intervention.”
As a way of healing the sites, Penyai plants exotic and indigenous trees as well as bushes. He also plants snake repelling shrubs.
“I plant all types of flowers including the Mexican bush. I try as much as possible to plant flowers and trees which are not vulnerable to theft. Previously, I have lost a lot of plants to thieves,” he said.
Penyai, who is a book publisher, said he also planted flowers on roundabouts and road sideways along the Bulawayo-Matopos Road.
“I have a passion for trees. I use my own resources to nurse and sometimes buy the trees and flower seedlings from local nurseries. My biggest challenge is how to source water to irrigate the plants. Appreciative neighbours have so far offered me free water, but I need a 100 metre-hose to connect water to the dumpsites,” he said.