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Friday, September 12, 2008

Tree planting can boost former IDPs’ income

ENVIRONMENT state minister Jessica Eriyo was quoted as saying displaced persons (IDPs) who have returned to their villages in northern Uganda have destroyed over 72% of forest reserves in the area.

She cautioned that the IDPs need to be sensitised on sustainable resource use because deforestation and the destruction of wetlands in Teso and Karamoja sub-regions would lead to grave climate change and desertification.

Sensitisation of IDPs alone is not enough. The National Forest Authority (NFA) attempted to sensitise the locals on preserving the reserves in vain. Now that peace has returned to the North, the locals must cultivate, at least for subsistence.

Growing crops or constructing a house in a place that had been abandoned requires one to clear land. Therefore, the Government should provide IDPs with crops seeds, as well as seedlings of trees such as pine for re-a forestation.

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The painting is by Laura Tasheiko

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