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Home News NFA, Uganda Baati Partner to Plant 50,000 Trees Across The Country

NFA, Uganda Baati Partner to Plant 50,000 Trees Across The Country

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By Nelson Mandela Muhoozi

Uganda Baati Limited (UBL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Forestry Authority (NFA) to replant over 50,000 indigenous trees (covering 40 hectares) across the country.

According to NFA, the plan is to plant 10 hectares per region (central, east, west and north), in the areas of Bajo Central Forest Reserve – Kayunga district; Namatale Central Forest Reserve – Sironko district; Lokiragado Central Forest Reserve – Arua; and Mubuku Central Forest Reserve – Kasese district.

Speaking during the launch at Bajo Forest Reserve in Kayunga district last week, Tom Obong Okello, the executive director of NFA, said the country is likely to lose all of its forests in the next 25 years.

“Although Bajo Forest is a reserve, the trees have all been cut down for timber, charcoal, firewood and housing, and the repercussions of these actions is the dry season that has become longer and filled with more droughts,” he said.

Obong added: “The loose soil has caused heavy rainfall to turn into deadly floods, while crops are producing less and less yield. Just this week over 15 homesteads have been destroyed by heavy winds due to the absence of trees as windbreakers.”

According to data by NFA, in the 1900s, the forest cover was 53%. However, by 1990, it had reduced to 24%, and 12% in by 2017.

“This is means Uganda lost over 2.4 million hectares of forest cover between 1990 and 2017,” Tina Achira, a board member of NFA said.

However, Achira noted that there was a slight recovery in forest cover in 2019 to 13% and said that the collaboration between Uganda Baati and NFA under the corporate forest restoration initiative, is a step in the right direction.

“As Uganda Baati, we deeply care about the people and communities we operate in and live by the values of being a responsible and involved corporate citizen,” George Arodi, the business head, Uganda Baati Limited said.

Arodi added: “Our company is guided by four key focus social investment pillars that include: environment, shelter, health and Education, and thus our partnership in the campaign falls under the Environment pillar, which initiative will contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 13 on Climate Change.”

“We believe that environmental protection is the only way we can safeguard our future. The situation will get worse if we do nothing. But we can do something about it before it’s too late,” Uganda Baati’s Dr Alan Shonubi said.

In the MOU, which is valid for fives year (up to 2026), Shonubi committed sh104m for maintaining, protecting and monitoring the restored area beyond the expiration of the MOU in 2026.

On NFA’s part, Achira committed to providing technical expertise to the project as well as continue monitoring the project.

The Leadership of Kayunga District and community members welcomed the initiative and said planting trees would help them combat climate change which has prolonged the dry season and caused food scarcity in the area.

The LC III chairperson of Bbale sub-county in Kayunga district, George Mande, asked NFA to give the local community free local tree seedlings for planting, saying the residents have cut down trees in the name of harvesting local herbs.

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