7 July 2011 - Two days before Southern Sudan becomes Africa's 54th nation, the state government of Northern Bahr El-Ghazal urged residents to plant an Independence Day tree on 9 July.
The trees would mark the historic day and symbolize sacrifices people of Southern Sudan had made for their freedom, State Secretary Garang Kuot Kuot said today.
"People will plant a tree to recognize the day and to remember it for generations to come," said Mr. Kuot, who also serves as chairperson of the technical committee planning celebrations in the capital Aweil.
He added that instructions had been sent to all four counties. "This will (also) have an enormous impact on the future when it comes to the issue of environment and could encourage people to keep their environment green and clean."
The secretary general noted that preparations for celebrations in all counties, which had been going on for three weeks, were almost complete. "We have done a lot of things in preparations for this great day, like putting the flags of South Sudan at each corner of Aweil town as well as all streets."
The Government of Southern Sudan had allocated one million Sudanese pounds to each state and the state government would allocate additional monies to the budget, said Mr. Kuot.
"We have allocated enough (money) for this day and everything is going smoothly and according to our plans," he said. "The mood of the people is encouraging and every citizen will celebrate the day with enthusiasm and happiness."
He also observed that state residents had learnt the national anthem and the security situation was calm and peaceful.