KAMPALA- Liberty Life Assurance Uganda (LLAU), in partnership with My Tree Initiative Uganda (MTIU), have launched a tree planting campaign dubbed “One Million Trees” to mark a new dawn after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the theme “Dedicating 1 million trees in remembrance of all those loved and lost”, the campaign is aimed at greening the city.
Speaking at the launch, Frank Tindyebwa, the County Head at Liberty Health Uganda said they are not only passionate about understanding their customer’s needs and creating products suited to these needs but also forming partnerships that will resonate with their customers and contribute to safeguarding the environment.
“Tree planting plays a vital role in the environment. It helps combat global warming by contributing to global reforestation efforts, restoring lost forests, repairing damaged ecosystems, mitigating climate changes, and is also vital for our survival,” he said.
He added that let each tree planted today represent each one of our individual contributions to the environment
The chief planter, Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago in his speech revealed that the best approach to climate change is nature based solutions.
According to Lukwago, Kampala is lauded as one of the cities with a very rich biodiversity.
“From the study we conducted from the just pockets of Kampala, it was established that we have 328 species but only 20% of those are indigenous which is dangerous,” said Lukwago.
He further noted that once a tree is planted, it becomes a public asset therefore cutting it is subject to punishment under the new Kampala City Green Infrastructure ordinance.
“We have to strictly enforce the Green Infrastructure ordinance that once you plant a tree, you can’t just wake up and say you want to remove it. You have to get a permit from KCCA. Planting it is yours but removal is not yours. Once you have planted a tree, it becomes a public asset and must be cultivated into our value systems. It is like a kid, before you conceive, we have no business with you, but the moment you abort, the state will arrest you. The same will happen to cutting trees,”Lukwago said.
Lukwago said there is need to have a green city in Kampala and to this he said the new law will ensure the country’s capital has urban forests.
“We must reduce emissions in Kampala by 22% by the year 2030. One of the key interventions to address that is to adopt nature based strategy of curbing emissions through planting trees. We need to get a solution to the global challenge of climate change. In having the built environment, the law specifies that there should be a specific part of the land with a green environment.”
“We want to have certain corridors preserved for urban forests in Kampala. We are now reclaiming certain pieces of land where to have urban forests. We have been lauded as a green city but it pains me to note that there is no forest around Kampala.”
The Co-Chief Executive Officer at My Tree Initiative Uganda, Ismael Tamale, also said, “It’s another great opportunity to host the LLAU Tree Planting Day by greening Nakasero Road and Lumumba Avenue.”
“Today, we have planted about 50 ornamental and urban trees. Though, we aim to enrich everyone’s life through trees and make Uganda a greener, healthier and more beautiful place through our ongoing #MillionTreeChallenge campaign,” he added.