What you need to know:
- The programme involves convicts preparing trees that are distributed for free to public institutions.
- Luweero has experienced severe loss of the forest cover in the past 20 years through clearance of vegetation cover for timber, charcoal burning and farm activities.
- Information from the Luweero District natural resources office indicates that about 65 per cent of the natural forest cover is depleted. The most affected areas include the cattle corridor of Butuntumula and Kamira sub-counties, where the charcoal burners have cut down trees.
- To boost the restoration of the forest cover, government is targeting school children as tree planting ambassadors. Uganda’s Vision 2040 targets restoration of the country’s forest cover from 15 per cent in 2010 to 24 per cent by 2040.
Convicts serving under the Community Service Programme in Luweero District have prepared 5,000 tree seedlings as part of a wider campaign by leaders to restore the depleted forest cover in the area.Luweero Resident District Commissioner Mariam Mugisha said the move is a great boost to the already existing environment awareness campaign in the district.
“The strategy of involving convicts serving their respective sentences in this environment campaign under the Community Service Programme is commendable. We have already witnessed the convicts supervised by the Chief Magistrate Court of Luweero plant trees on several street roads and public institutions. We appeal to the public to join the tree planting campaign,” Ms Mugisha told the Daily Monitor on Tuesday.
Mr Samuel Munobe, the Luweero Chief Magistrate, said the idea targets public institutions, including schools and health units that will pick the seedlings for planting. “We are encouraging the public to join the environment campaign through tree planting. Our contribution at the Chief Magistrate Court is to use the free labour under the Community Service Programme to add value to the environment.