KARACHI: Edhi Foundation, country’s biggest charity, has announced to revive urban forests in Karachi through ‘Edhi Plantation Campaign’ and plant 10,000 tree in its first phase to reduce the future threats of extreme weather events such as heatwave.Faisal Edhi, the head of the Edhi Foundation announced that he would plant 10,000 local and indigenous plants belonging to a dozen different species in industrial areas including Korangi Industrial area, along intercity roads and on major highways connecting Karachi with other cities of Sindh and Balochistan. The foundation is set to plant 10,000 trees in the next one year under the first phase of ‘Edhi Plantation Campaign’. “In the first phase of the campaign, we will plant 10,000 trees. This will give up an opportunity to learn the engineering of tree plantation. We plan on planning over one million (mn) trees in the future,” said Faisal Edhi. “For this tree plantation campaign, we foundation first contacted Social Forestry Department Karachi, a subsidiary of Sindh Forest Department to provide the foundation with plant samples” said Faisal Edhi. He added that he decided to establish his own nursery after the department provided only 500 saplings and refused to send more plants.The foundation in its Edhi Orphan Center, Korangi No 5, established a nursery where it started growing plant samplings for this mass tree plantation. “Initially we faced difficulties finding healthy seeds but now we have enough seeds and so far we have planted over one thousand seeds. We have planted approximately 1000 trees on different major roads in Korangi Industrial area,” Edhi told Daily Times. The philanthropist said that he will soon start plantation on Hub Road which connects city with Balochistan and also on Super Highway that connects port city upcountry. “We have started plantation in industrial area and now we are seeking official permission from National Highway Authority (NHA) to start planting tree on Hub Road and Super Highway,” said Faisal Edhi. According to Faisal Edhi, the foundation choose to plant indigenous trees such as Parkinsonia tree, Gum arabic or Kikar tree, Imli, sacred fig or Peepal, beery , moringa oleifera or ‘Drumstick tree’ and others to preserve the ground water levels, provide roadside shade and attract urban bird species.“The pollution has risen to alarming levels in Karachi. Expert have also warned that a series of severe heatwaves will hit the megapolis in the near future,” explained Edhi. “We need more trees to counter that,” he added. In June 2015, a deadly heatwave hit the Sindh’s capital city and over 2,000 people died from dehydration and heat stroke. Another heatwave in May 2018 killed over 65 people in the metropolis.Published in Daily Times, August 19th 2018.