Project: One Hundred Million Trees Uganda

By Wanambwa M. Rogers

According to the National Forestry Authority, Uganda in the late 1980s, had approximately 75,000 km2 (31.7%) out of 236,040 km2 of total land in Uganda consisting of forest and woodland. Today, forests and woodlands cover is about 15.2% of Uganda’s land surface meaning that Uganda has lost 16.5% of forests and woodland cover. The State Minister for Environment Mary Goretti Kitutu said Uganda’s forest cover has been depleted to 8% up from 24% in 1990s, attributing it to human encroachment for different activities like agriculture and tree cutting for timber and charcoal.

These statistics are alarmingly scary considering the fact that Uganda has a population increment of over one million people every year and it is believed that we’ll be 80 million people in the next thirty years according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

Considering these statistics, I have a suggestion and one that has already been used in other countries like Ethiopia and other countries. Plant one hundred million tees today. Mind blogging right? Well, other countries have already planted millions of trees so this is nothing so out there, it’s doable.

One may ask themselves why they be bothered about this? Let me expound.

As you may already know, the world over, the topic of climate change and it’s effects has taken front stage. A magnanimous sixteen year old, Greta Thunberg has been doing trips around the world spreading the gospel of climate change. I’ll talk about her in another article. However, you may know the effects of deforestation from your primary SST and secondary Geography.
It is these effects that if not countered will drastically see us as a country fall off the cliff into oblivion. For example, it is believed that at the rate at which our forests are being cut down, we’ll be a desert in less than 30years.

Other effects of deforestation include, extinction of bird and animal species. Extinction of plant species, change in rain cycles, which causes farming incredibly difficult since most Ugandans farm using rainfall water. When it comes to tourism, we’ll lose all the money that comes from people that coke to see the flora and fauna in these rain forests. It also affects the food source of hunter communities.

Ugandans depend on these forests for firewood and charcoal which are the main sources of energy for cooking in the country.

Also, these forests are a source of wood for timber which is used both locally and for export.
These and many others are some of the advantages and benefits of forests.

This again, brings in my notion of planting 100 million trees. Of course, there are other theories of conservation, like embarking on using other fuel sources like gas, hydro power electricity to counter charcoal and firewood usage. But those and others are proving to ineffective.
Therefore, I forward this plan or project to Ugandans as a way forward to having mor forests in the coming years.

For God And My Country.

The writer is a finalist pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration majoring in Finance and Accounting at Kampala International University.

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