KAYUNGA- Uganda Baati Limited (UBL), a member of the Safal Group of Companies has signed an MOU with the Government of Uganda’s National Forestry Authority (NFA) to replant 40 hectares of indigenous trees across the country to culminate to 10 hectares per region (Central, East, West and North).
The trees will be planted 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 under “Every Tree Counts” campaign.
The launch of this partnership was witnessed on November 2, 2022 with a tree planting exercise at Bajo Forest Reserve in Kayunga district that will restore the first ten hectares of forest cover. UBL and NFA employees and the local community through local administration participated in the exercise.
Current statistics by NFA show that the country is likely to lose all of its forests in the next 25 years. The repercussions of these actions are clear to see. Besides the landscape almost being completely devoid of trees, the dry season has become longer and filled with more droughts. The loose soil has caused heavy rainfall to turn into deadly floods, while crops are producing less and less yield.
Representing NFA Executive Director Mr Tom Obong Okello, NFA Director of Policy Paul Musamali revealed that Uganda’s forest cover in the 1900s was at 53%, but by 1990, it had reduced to 24% and by 2017, it was at 12%.
“Between 1990 and 2017, Uganda had lost over 2.4 million hectares of forest cover. In 2019, there was a slight recovery in forest cover to 13% and the collaboration between Uganda Baati and NFA under the corporate forest restoration initiative, is a step in the right direction, we thank the leadership of SAFAL group and Uganda Baati for the continued partnership to combat climate change,” he said.
Speaking at the launch of the partnership, UBL Board Chairman Dr Alan Shonubi revealed that they believe that environmental protection is the only way to protect the future.
‘We will therefore continue to support such partnerships and promote solutions that will safeguard the environment for future generations,” he said.
He further emphasized the company’s commitment to leading the way in reducing the impact of 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 is too late and as Uganda Baati, we shall continue this agenda in partnership with the Government of Uganda,” said Shonubo.
UBL also recently collaborated with Uganda Hockey in the score a tree campaign where a tree is planted for each goal scored throughout the season. NFA has identified 5 hectares within Mabira Forest where this partnership shall focus its restoration activities this year.
On his part, UBL Business Head Mr George Erodi noted that climate change is one of the most pressing paradoxes at the moment.
“As we strive for industrial growth as a responsible organization, we are cognizant of the fact that we need to safeguard Uganda from additional threats of climate change. Initiatives such as this one today are an important step in this journey. No matter who we are or where we are, we must play our part and every tree counts,” he said.
Mr Arodi pledged to continuously improve and minimize the environmental impact of UBL’s operations “and through this partnership, we look forward to planting 40 hectares of trees.”