Caritas plants trees in Karachi to beat extreme heat

Thousands to be planted in urban and coastal areas of Pakistan's largest city
Caritas plants trees in Karachi to beat extreme heat

Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi (right, dressed in white) and Giyan Chand Essrani, Sindh Minister for Wildlife and Forest (center, dressed in black) during the launch of the Trees for the Earth campaign at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Karachi April 22. (Photo by Ayaz Gulzar)

Caritas is planting thousands of trees in Karachi to help combat deadly heat waves that affect the Pakistani city each summer.

As part of the Trees for the Earth campaign, Caritas will plant 5,000 trees in church areas and other parts of the city, said Mansha Noor,  executive secretary of the Catholic aid and development agency in Karachi.

"Our planet Earth will no longer be able to support life if we continue cutting down trees, and we all know about the heat wave disaster that killed more than 2,000 in our city last year," Noor said.

The elderly and laborers were the main victims from last summer's deadly heat wave, which also badly affected livestock and agricultural crops in surrounding areas.

Caritas is also assisting with the planting of mangrove trees in coastal areas near Karachi.

"With the collaboration of the Sindh Forest Department about 1,000 mangrove plants will likewise be planted to protect the livelihoods of fishing communities," said Noor.

Giyan Chand Essrani, Minister for Forestry and Wildlife for the Sindh government, said that the state has donated 2,000 trees to be planted around Karachi as part of Caritas' two month-long campaign.

"I appreciate the efforts of the church in Karachi and Caritas for taking this initiative to protect our humanity and city from high temperatures," Essrani said.

Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi blessed the first tree to be planted in the campaign at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Earth Day, April 22.

The campaign will also include activities and promotions such as seminars and training workshops.

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