KAMPALA — Government has mooted a plan to plant 40 million trees in April this year.
This was disclosed by Sam Cheptoris, the minister of Water and Environment on March 27.
“This year, we are looking at planting 40 million trees as a national campaign. Every Ugandan will be urged to do that; if you are pregnant, you plant two trees,” he said, adding that it will be one among many emergency mitigation measures against effects of climate change which humankind has brought upon itself.
Cheptoris was at a media conference to mark the Earth Hour Conservation Campaign —spearheaded by World Wide Fund for nature conservation and the Church of Uganda.
Cheptoris rallied all Ugandans to at all times keep it green and clean by planting more trees, adopting the use of renewable energy technologies and most importantly checking plastic pollution by adopting the habit of reusing all plastic as opposed to the single use plastic which end up polluting environment, water bodies and drainage channels.
Uganda’s forests are severely threatened. Between 1990-2010 the country lost almost a third of its tree cover, and tree numbers are continuing to decline – albeit at a slower rate – each year.
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Steven Kaziimba Mugalu called on every Ugandan to plant trees and said families should plant a special tree for each child they bring into the world.
“Let’s adopt the act of planting trees to make Uganda green. It’s now mandatory to plant trees at church functions like confirmation, baptism, weddings among others and I urge church leaders to plant trees on every occasion they go to,” he said.
Dr. Kaziimba accused mankind of turning the planet into a “polluted wasteland full of debris” and said “we are already experiencing loss of life and livelihoods because of intensified storms, the shortage of fresh water, the spread of disease and rising food prices due to the poor harvests.”
He asked people to reflect on a society that lacked concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature. He called for consumers to modify their modern lifestyle by reducing waste, planting trees and separating rubbish.
Mr. David Duli, the World Wide Fund for nature Country Director called for self reflection and behavior change—noting that every small action, such as acquiring a reusable water container or refusing to carry a plastic bag can make a big difference and will show that you care about the future of planet.
“When we make changes in our own lives, and when we share that with others, we also inspire the people around us to change – and we help grow a movement that businesses that are manufacturing these plastics can’t ignore.
2021 is the start of an important decade for climate and nature action”
The global picture
The issues Uganda faces are reflected around the world, with forests suffering as populations expand, agriculture encroaches and illegal logging takes its toll.
Conservation charity WWF estimates that we lose around 27 soccer pitches worth of forest every minute around the world.