A tree planting campaign under the theme of ‘Prevent disaster through greenery’ by Sri Lanka Army Security Forces Headquarters West gets underway at Preethipura beach, Wattala on September 7. The program which is supported by the Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources Department, Forest Conservation Department, ecologists and environmentalists, SFHQ West Commander Major General Ubaya Medawala announced at a press briefing at Panagoda.

He said the program ‘Prevent disaster through greenery’ is to support the national tasks to protect the environment and the program has already commenced in some inland areas. “Saplings of many varieties to suit the environment and weather have been distributed. The program was implemented through divisional secretaries. The projects continue without a timeframe once they begin on September 7 where nearly 100,000 saplings will be planted. This is an extension of a project which we began few years ago,” he said.

Puttalam, Kurunegala, Kegalle, Gampaha, Colombo, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Galle and Matara districts have been selected under the first phase of the program. Fruit and timber saplings will be planted. The trees planted will be looked after by the Army for three months and then will be taken care by the residents.

“We selected these districts as 55 percent of the population lives in these areas and due to rapid urbanization,” Major General Medawala said. Director-Army Media Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera and several other officials addressed the media over the program.