Some 100 enthusiastic pupils from SK Tanjung Tokong, SJK (T) Azad and SJK (C) Hun Bin helped plant mangrove saplings in Sungai Acheh near Nibong Tebal, Penang recently.
The activity was part of developer Eastern & Oriental Berhad’s (E&O) long-term ‘Think Green’ community greening programme.
The children were briefed by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Centre for Marina and Coastal Studies (CEMACS) senior lecturer Dr Chee Su Yin before they started the session.
Within an hour, the five hundred saplings from the Rhizophora Apiculata (bakau minyak) and Rhizophora Mucnorata (bakau kurap) species were planted at the mangrove planting site.
E&O Property (Penang) Sdn Bhd general manager Zawawi Yusop said the responsiveness of the Tanjung Tokong schools towards the mangrove replacement planting initiative was very supportive as young school children gained first-hand awareness of the conservation of mangrove swamps.
E&O’s programme partners CEMACS, Penang Forestry Department, Penang Inshore Fishermen Welfare Association (PIFWA) and Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) were on hand to share valuable technical knowledge in briefing the children as well as facilitating the planting process.
After starting the Think Green programme in 2014, E&O has continued to work closely with schools in the vicinity of George Town’s Seri Tanjung Pinang (STP) in Tanjung Tokong, namely SK Tanjung Tokong, SJK(C) Hun Bin, SJK (T) Azad in Waterfall, Tadis Ar-Rasyidin and SMK Tanjung Bungah.
E&O group hospitality and lifestyle director Michael Saxon was excited that Think Green had encouraged gardening as an extracurricular activity for these schools.
“It is wonderful how these young children apply the lessons learnt to grow their own mini garden. We believe the children will continue to nurture a sense of eco-consciousness with a deep awareness of their environment,” he said.
For the past one year, the primary school pupils of SJK (T) Azad learnt to cultivate and care for a mini garden at their school’s compound as they put into practise the natural farming skills taught by CAP.
SJK (T) Azad headmistress S. Kattamah said the children were happy to fulfil their dream of having their very first garden in the school and to actively practice what they learnt from the Think Green programme.
“We are encouraged and hope the children will share this knowledge and start to grow their own vegetables and herbs at home,” she said.