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NFA to plant over 37 million tree seedlings

By Gerald Tenywa

Added 21st June 2018 12:30 PM

Deforestation results into destruction of habitats and massive loss of biological diversity. Ultimately, deforestation takes away the beauty of the country.

NFA to plant over 37 million tree seedlings

Deforestation results into destruction of habitats and massive loss of biological diversity. Ultimately, deforestation takes away the beauty of the country.

PIC: NFA will distribute over 37 million tree seedlings. Curently, less than 10% of Uganda's landscape is forested leaving the soil exposed to erosion. (File photo)
 
ENVIRONMENT
 
KAMPALA - It is about a century ago when Winston Churchill christened Uganda as the "Pearl of Africa.
 
At that time, about half of Uganda was covered by forests, according to Stephen Galima, the coordinator in the department of natural forests under the National Forestry Authority (NFA).
 
However, today less than 10% of Uganda's landscape is forested leaving the soil exposed to erosion.
 
In addition, deforestation results into destruction of habitats and massive loss of biological diversity. Ultimately, deforestation takes away the beauty of the country.
 
This state of affairs could be reversed starting with the coming financial year if the dreams of the biggest Government body come true.
 
"We are going to produce 37 million seedlings and 22 million seedlings will be given to the community for planting.
 
This will leave 15 million seedlings in order to restore the environment," said Musamali, adding that the 15 million seedlings will be left for commercial enterprises (selling).
 
"We have over 30 nurseries across the country which will supply the tree seedlings."
 
Musamali said the tree seedlings to be supplied in the coming year will be for producing timber, poles, fuel-wood and agro-forestry for intercropping with coffee and bananas.
 
He also said some of the trees to be supplied will have medicinal values.
 
In addition, NFA is to work with Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to plant trees in the road reserves of highways, according to NFA's acting executive director, Paul Musamali.
 
Musamali has said that the Government budget allocated for NFA has increased from 29b (last year-2017-2018) to 41b (2018-2019). 
 
He said the money needed by NFA to address conservation and development concerns is about sh1 trillion but the increment will help to address some of the most pressing conservation and development concerns.
 
Tree planting days
 
Musamali said tree planting will start on the youth day on August 12. In addition, the country also has three other tree-planting days-Women's day on March 8, and Labour Day, May 1 and World Environment Day on June 5.
 
He also encouraged people to go beyond the ceremonial tree planting and engage in massive tree planting drives. 
 
Most of the destruction outside protected areas
 
He said NFA manages 15% of the forests and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) manages another 15%.
 
The forests on private land were 70% on the private land in 1990 and this is where most of the destruction has been taking place.
 
He also pointed out that the forests that were gazette were on fragile areas and marginal lands including mountains and catchment of lakes as well as rivers.
 
He said the biggest reason for protection of the forest was ecological and protection of biological diversity.
 
In addition forests were also protected for cleaning air in the urban areas as well as for supplying products such as timber and poles for industry.

 

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