By Moses Bayola Muwonge (Radio Star) and NECJOGHA TEAM
Kampala, Uganda- The National Forestry Authority (NFA) has partnered with the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) to plant one million trees in all its areas of operation in Uganda.
Through this partnership NFA and NWSC will plant live fences around all its offices, plant trees to protect the catchment, plant trees with communities and Central Forest Reserves that host NWSC facilities. NFA will be supplying NWSC with the tree seedlings.
As part of this partnership, NWSC has now embarked on a project to plant 18,000 trees around Lake Victoria to protect its catchment area and reduce water pollution as they set up a mother new water plant at Katosi in the central Uganda district of Mukono.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga while launching the project at Katosi, advised local leaders to curtail environmental degradation by stopping the cutting down of trees and she also asked NFA to engage schools in the tree planting project.
The water plant is constructed by the Sogea Satom, a French company and will supply 160 million litres in addition to other plants to reduce water scarcity in Mukono, Kampala and other urban areas.
According to a Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) report titled ‘State of Uganda Forests 2016’, Uganda’s forest cover has shrunk from 24% of the total land area in 1990 to 9% in 2015. In terms of acreage a total of 3.05 million hectares were lost in a span of 25 years.
“There are many factors that are causing the rapid loss of forest cover and degradation of forests. The main causes of deforestation have been mostly the conversion of forest land to other land use types such as agriculture and urbanization, and rampant felling of trees for firewood and charcoal burning. The other important ones are issues relating to governance in the forestry sector, issues associated with illegal and unregulated trade of forest products and the unsecured forest tenure rights. There is a remarkable difference in the degree of deforestation inside protected areas (PAs) as compared to forests on private land,” the report says