In an effort to conserve the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Uganda National Roads Authority will in the next 2 Years plant over 1 million trees along all major roads in different regions of Uganda
These will be planted under UNRA’s new tree planting campaign, Green Right of Way (GROW) that was initiated in 2016 to mitigate climate change and adaptation.
Although Uganda is still ranked low in greenhouse gas emission, now at 1.39-ton carbo dioxins, way below the global average of 7.99 tons, the effects of climate change/ gas emissions are visible through the long droughts, increased number of non-communicable diseases patients among others
According to the National Forestry Authority (NFA), Uganda losses 120,000 hectares of its forests per year. Uganda also only has 11% of its land covered by forests instead of the targeted 18%. The Uganda National Development targets 24% forest coverage by 2040, a thing that will not be possible if the current forest destruction rates continue
Speaking at the official launch of the GROW campaign that took place along the Kampala- Entebbe Express way, Allen Kagina, the Executive Director UNRA said the authority intends to spread this program to all parts of the country.
“We have a new initiative of Tree banks that have already been created at 16 out of 23 of all our stations. We intend to cover all the stations by end of this year so that each station can be in charge of planting trees along all roads that in their areas” she said.
Kagina said the tree planting initiatives are part of the Financing contracts signed between UNRA and the development partners like JICA, Africa Development Bank, World Bank among others.
“We do not want to just sign things on part when we are not implementing them. Our development partners are interested in roads that are sustainable for the economy. Sustainable and inclusive development requires roads to be efficient, equitable, safe” she said
Kagina further noted that Uganda has some of the worst gas emission coming from old cars resulting from failure by government to regulate the importation and use of old exhausted cars.
Paul Buyerah Musamali, Director policy and planning, NFA appealed to all Ugandans to work together and restore our forests that are essential for climate change control
“The effects of climate change will affect all of us in equal terms. It is a responsibility of all Ugandans to plant tree and maintain a tree at least per year. As NFA, we have put aside indigenous trees that will be given for free to Ugandans to plant,” he said
Just today, UNRA employees planted over 2000 trees along the Kampala Entebbe express way.
Kagina said they are engaging stakeholders like contractors, local leaders and communities to ensure that these trees are preserved and protected including women and youths (the labour based contractors that have been contracted to clean and maintain the roads.
The project is being implemented in partnership with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Uganda Wildlife Authority, National Forestry Authority, Vision Group, Uganda Road Reserve Fund and Development partners