State Minister for Cooperatives, Frederick Gume, has called upon members of the cooperative movement to sustain the example of planting trees, noting that they(trees) not only preserve the environment but can also act as a source of revenue to many.
He made the remarks while presiding over the tree planting drive in Gomba district on Tuesday, ahead of the 96th United Nations International Day of Cooperatives celebrations that were held yesterday in Wakiso District.
The tree-planting exercise, one of the many initiatives that were carried out by cooperators in the week-long commemorative activities that climaxed yesterday, was aimed at encouraging investment in tree planting as a sustainable investment option.
In a bid to popularize the function and importance of Cooperatives across the country, Hon. Gume noted that his ministry was trying to advocate for the inclusion of cooperatives as a key subject of study in the schools’ curriculum that’s currently under review. In addition to the knowledge, Gume argued that such learning would challenge children to grow up with saving culture.
Already, Gume noted that the Cooperatives Movement was already numerically strong and with vast potential. He gave the example of the teachers’ cooperative –Walimu SACCO, which he said that with a membership of about 200,000 teachers, they were capable of starting their own bank. “If each teacher saved UGX 50,000 for 5 years, that would amount to UGX.60bn, which would be enough to start a Commercial Cooperative bank,” he said.
Walimu SACCO were the chief organizers of the Gomba event, and they have already planted over 5acres of trees in Gomba District to sustain rainfall in the district and guard against the now frequent dry spells in the area.
Among the other guests at the tree-planting exercise were the Registrar of Cooperatives Mr. Joseph William Kitandwe, and the Chief Executive Officer of The Uhuru Institute for Social Development Leonard Okello. Each of them planted five trees at the Gomba District headquarters and at the Farmer’s Cooperative Union Limited offices to mark the event
In conjunction with Uganda Cooperative Alliance (UCA), Uhuru Institute for Social Development and Cooperative Insurance Company (CIC) the Cooperative Movement has been able to supply tree seedlings for planting across the country in support of the 2019 Co-operative theme; “Cooperatives for Decent Work