By Raymond Walusimbi and Raymond Baguma
The National Forestry Authority (NFA) has sworn in a new board of directors following the expiry of the term of the old board.
The new board of directors is chaired by the authority’s former executive director Gershom Onyango Onyai, who replaces Prof. Buyinza Mukadhasi.
The board took oath of office yesterday (Tuesday) during a ceremony at the NFA offices in Bugolobi, presided over by magistrate Jolly Rose Wanyanga.
Members of the newly inaugurated board include former Uganda Investment Authority executive director Dr. Maggie Kigozi. Others are Dickson Langoya, Stephen Mugumya and former Maruzi Member of Parliament David Ebong.
The outgoing board members who served a three-year term renewable only once include Ponsiano Besesa, Sarah Muwonge Nkonge, Sheila Kawamara Mishambi, and Michael Angol.
The new board chairperson Onyango said the professional composition of the new board which includes environmentalists, sociologists and private sector, will support addressing of challenges faced by the authority.
Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, the minister for water and environment said that the new board comes in at a time to halt the declining forest cover in the country which sustains millions of Ugandans in employment, as well as protecting the water catchments.
Prof. Buyinza said that during his tenure as chairperson, the board was faced with challenges that required making tough decisions; and added that the board had succeeded in delivering results.
He called for the continuous nurturing of NFA so that the authority remains the flagship agency for environmental protection in the country. He added handed over a mahogany tree as a symbol of transfer of authority to the incoming board chairperson Onyango.
Paul Mafabi, the director for environmental affairs in the ministry of environment said forest conservation is vital because forestry is a primary growth sector around which national development is centred.
Michael Mugisa, the NFA executive director hailed the outgoing board of directors for laying a foundation on which the new board would build.
Forestry authority gets new board of directors