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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Uganda: Army in Tree-Planting Drive

GEN. Katumba Wamala, the commander of the land forces, recently launched a tree-planting drive to replace the vegetation cover that has been destroyed in the north during the LRA insurgency over the past 20 years.

Col. Lucky Kidega, the UPDF 5th Division commander, told Katumba that Pader district gave the army more than 50 acres of land at Patongo sub-county to plant pine trees. He said for the start they would plant trees in 20 acres.

The UPDF 4th Division political commissar, Capt. Emmanuel Ankunda, said Gulu district had given them one hectare of land to plant the pine trees.

"Over time, we have been destroying our tree covers countrywide through construction, burning of charcoal and bricks. We are destroying many trees daily than we are planting.

And the UPDF is not entirely innocent of destroying the tree cover,"said Katumba.

He said the army looks at the tree planting drive as a noble initiative that it can participate in for the future wellbeing of the people.

Katumba said as a forest grower, tree planting should not be a one-time activity, but a routine.

"As we mobilise our people to go back to their homes, let tree- planting be part of the activities we shall do. If you don't want to plant Mvule for wood, then plant mango or avocado trees for fruits," Katumba said.

The army would not only engage in hunting for the LRA rebels but also help the community conserve their environment.

Katumba urged the district authorities at Patongo to encourage returning to camps to plant trees.

Read it here

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