People of Ethiopia took part in a massive campaign that set out to plant 200 million seedlings in a span of 12 hours.
Water Minister Seleshi Bekele announced that 353 million seedlings, much above the projected number, had been planted in 12 hours.
The initiative was introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to plant 4 billion tree seedlings in the rainy season of June, July and August, which aims to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drought-prone country.
Officials were assigned to count the seedlings being planted by volunteers, reports BBC’s Kalkidan Yibeltal in the capital, Addis Ababa.
In a show of solidarity to Ethiopia’s efforts, Turkish Embassy diplomats and staff in Addis Ababa planted trees.
More than 80% of Ethiopia’s population lives in rural areas with agriculture (farming and/or cattle rearing) as the prime source of income.