10 Billion Trees: Pakistan’s Plan for 60,000 ‘Green’ Jobs
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been under coronavirus induced lock-down since March 23rd and many citizens have been left jobless, but the Pakistani government has a plan to get its people back to work. Aljazeera reports that government officials in Pakistan want to hire upwards of 60,000 day laborers to help with the country’s 10 Billion Tree Tsunami program.
Due to the lock-down in Pakistan, millions of people in the Punjab province have been laid off so there is a desperate need to provide stimulus. Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan said via twitter that a “Green Stimulus” package was officially approved.
Progress is possible
The 10 Billion Tree Tsunami program started in 2014 and has already planted over 30 million indigenous saplings. Pakistan has a dismal 6% area with tree coverage, so much work remains. The project was paused due to the COVID-19 outbreak but officials now see it’s a great way to create jobs.
…earlier this month, the prime minister granted an exemption to allow the forestry agency to restart the programme and create more than 63,600 jobs, according to government officials.Aljazeera
Most of the work for the program takes place near the capital, Islamabad, but there are other state-owned sites for the project across the country.
The jobs tend to focus on employing women, and young people who are out of work. Planting saplings, building nurseries, and serving as a forest guard are just some duties workers will be tasked with. The expected daily wage is between 500-800 rupees ($3-5 USD). This may seem like an unlivable wage but one Punjab province resident told the Thomson Reuters Foundation,
“All of us now have a way of earning daily wages again to feed our families,”Aljazeera
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