NEBBI– A tree planting campaign dubbed ‘environmental justice campaign’ has been launched in Nebbi district aimed at mitigating the alarming risks of climate change.
The campaign which is being championed by Action Aid International Uganda [AAIU] is not only dedicated to tree planting but also encourages farming practices that don’t damage the environment.
According to the leaders in the district, the environment is being depleted due to human activities, which have claimed some of the natural vegetation, especially along the riverbanks as people cultivate and cut trees for charcoal burning.
Nebbi district resident commissioner [RDC], Robert Abak described climate change as one of the top security threats recognized globally, adding that has caused more panics than gunshots.
“All the buffer zones of our lakes and rivers have been seriously encroached on by our own people who do farming and cut trees. River banks have been destroyed and the end results are floods and weather changes,” Abak said.
The RDC said though there is a presidential directive against encroachment on wetlands, its implementation is not being taken seriously, which he said is harming the wetlands more.
The assistant chief administrative officer Nebbi, Gilbert Onenchan called for the sustainable use of natural resources, including planting trees for the next generation that is likely to face the harsher effects of global warming.
Onenchan urged cultural leaders whom he said are custodians of areas where bush burning and wood logging are being practiced, to do more by discouraging the depletion of the environment.
He noted frequent bush burning and cutting down of trees has caused drought and deteriorated soil fertility, resulting in low agricultural output and famine in some areas.
According to Gorreti Anna Apio, an environmental activist from AAIUA, they are piloting in Nebbi district as they encourage communities to plant trees to mitigate risks of climate change in the country.
Apio added that human activities like bush farming and charcoal burning have remained the main driver of climate change since they increase the chances of the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which is dangerous to both humans and other creatures on earth.
“We’re advocating for tree planting and our local communities need to be sensitised on the negative effects of climate change,” Apio said.
Nebbi district environmental officer, Doreen Fualing said despite the environment ordinance that was gazetted in 2018 people have repeatedly cut trees to meet their livelihoods. She said all leaders must work together to restore the depleted environment.
The Prime Minister of Alur kingdom, Prince Opar Angala said the kingdom is in partnership with the National Forest Authority [NFA] will soon launch a green campaign where every chiefdom in the kingdom will plant trees.
“The kingdom needs to restore our environment by planting trees along the buffer zones of rivers and wetlands,” Opar said.
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