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Bukenya warns on forest leases

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st June 2010 03:00 AM

THE vice-president, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, has condemned the leasing out of forests to people without close supervision of activities carried out there.He said some of the activities may lead to the extinction of natural forests.

THE vice-president, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, has condemned the leasing out of forests to people without close supervision of activities carried out there.He said some of the activities may lead to the extinction of natural forests.

By Conan Businge

THE vice-president, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, has condemned the leasing out of forests to people without close supervision of activities carried out there.He said some of the activities may lead to the extinction of natural forests.

Citing deforestation in the semi-depleted Namanve forest reserve in Wakiso district, Bukenya said he intervened when people were on the verge of eliminating its natural tree species.

The people, who were purportedly authorised by the National Forestry Authority, after razing the natural tree species, would replant only eucalyptus trees.

He was speaking on Saturday while planting the second official tree under a campaign dubbed, ‘31 million trees, 31 million Ugandans’.

The function, that included a forest trek led by Bukenya, took place at the 26-acre eco-forest in Malangata village in Namayumba sub-county.

He added that although 70% of people in rural areas use wood fuel for cooking, modern energy saving stoves can be included in the campaign to sustainably exploit the forest resources.

This, he said, can be used alongside solar, thermal and biogas fuels.

The vice-president added that medicinal trees are becoming extinct since the few existing varieties, are secretly de-backed and exported only to be returned to the country as expensive drugs to treat cancer.

He added that local trees called ‘nkuza nyanna’ and ‘ntasseesa’, which are famous for treating prostrate, skin and pancreatic cancers are becoming extinct.

Bukenya also cited the artemensa plant which originated from African forests and is vital in the making of new malaria drugs.

Meanwhile, Bukenya called for the introduction of a law ensuring that for every tree cut, another one is planted.

Bukenya warns on forest leases

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