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Self-motivated Ibri citizen fights mesquite tree menace

20 Nov 2022 By MOHAMMED TAHA

Muscat – To check the spread of mesquite trees and raise awareness of the importance of weeding out these small leguminous trees for the protection of green covers, an Ibri resident has made it a mission to get rid of the harmful trees from his wilayat.

Mohammed Saeed al Hinai said he started alone to destroy mesquite trees in the wilayat of Ibri in Dhirah governorate.

“I have succeeded in removing over 80 trees so far. I cut down and burn the pestilent shrubs and trees, that endanger vegetation in the immediate surrounding, often facing the challenges of strong winds.”

The initiative aims to get rid of all mesquite trees and spread awareness of its impact on the soil and environment as a whole. He also aims to encourage community members to plant wild trees, spread environmental awareness in the community and motivate young people to participate in voluntary works for environment protection.

Hinai described the species as a “menace that threatens indigenous flora, competing for water and soil nutrients”. Leaves of mesquite shrubs and trees contain a toxic substance, and the thorns cause serious injuries to human beings.

According to Hinai, mesquite pollen has been identified as a respiratory allergen, and consumption of the pods by animals leads to teeth decay. The shrubs and trees also affect soil salinity, he added.

Talking about the challenges Hinai said lack of equipment and prevalent of snakes pose major challenges during the removal of those trees. “But with determination, patience and documenting the place where the mesquite trees were located, I was able to overcome it.”

Hinai has also been distributing wild plant saplings since 2018 so that they can not only replace the harmful trees, but can also help in the protection of soil, while ensuring the green cover in the sultanate.

“I have started a small nursery at home and till now I have successfully grown 7,000 saplings,” he added.

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