The National Forestry Authority has set plans of planting 10 million trees in a move aimed at restoring Uganda’s forest cover which has been deeply reduced due to human activities.
According to Tom Okello, the NFA Executive Director forest cover in Uganda has been reducing at a high rate.
He says this has exposed Uganda to environmental effects like climate change, landslides, mudslides and soil erosion.
“We are going to plant about 10 million trees starting from 21st September across the country.
“Our target is to restore the country’s forest cover which has been highly degraded due to human activities like the increasing demand for biomass fuels, demand for land for Agriculture and increasing population,” said Okello.
Uganda’s forest cover has been diminishing since 1994 where the total coverage was at 24%.
Now, according to NFA statistics, coverage has been reduced to less than 10%. The major driver for the loss is the high demand for trees to produce charcoal and firewood which are the major source of energy for the urban and rural settings.
For the country to regain the lost glory of the forest cover, it needs to plant at least 136000 hectares annually and according to NFA, they are ready to work with individuals and organizations willing to engage in tree planting.
“We are willing to work with communities by providing free tree seedlings especially for the natural trees such as Mahogany Mvule.
“To those individuals, NFA has nursery tree beds across the country which makes it very cheap to access the tree planting materials,” said Okello.
The tree planting exercise is among the key activities that are being organized by the tax Body Uganda Revenue Authority as they plan to host the 2018 Tax Payers Appreciation Week which is expected to tee off on 26-28 September at the Kololo Independence Grounds.
Okello said his body will sign agreements with local Governments to ensure that they engage more local communities in tree planting.
“Government allocates some resources to NFA to implement the community Tree planting programs.
“We shall be using part of the resources to support local governments to implement the program on behalf of NFA,” He said.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO