Playing sports or listening to music maybe many people’s hobby, but for Peter Arem Mek, a local in Jiwaka Province, tree planting is his hobby.
Mek has so far planted over One Million Gum trees and Forestry over a period of thirty-six years.
Peter Arem Mek started planting gum trees and forestry in the early 1980’s while working at Waghi Mac Plantation in Jiwaka.
Mek said planting these two precious trees is a gift, from which people need to master in collecting seedlings for nursery and planting.
Mek loves planting trees and owns more than one million trees, and supplies more than 30, 000 nursery seedlings every year to buyers in the seven highlands provinces.
Mek supplied timbers for free to locals at the Sigiri and Banz area, and has built five local churches, classrooms and teachers’ houses, both semi and permanent houses.
His only wish was to own a sawmill or chainsaw one day.
His dream came through last Thursday, when Governor Dr William Tongamp surprised him with a K75, 000 worth of sawmill and chainsaw.
Governor Tongamp said Mek deserved this, and said he will support him so that his legacy remains for generations to follow.
Dr Tongamp said Mek will sign a contract with Jiwaka Provincial Government and the provincial education division to supply seedlings to schools in Jiwaka, as well as teaching students to plant trees.
Dr Tongamp said the value of these one million trees today is K5 Billion, and he urged everyone to start planting trees.