Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Uganda: Will the Green Crusade Take Off?
Kampala — WHEN Maria Mutagamba, the environment minister planted a ceremonial tree at Kumi to commemorate the UN World Environment Day two years ago, she did not know that it would be accorded scanty respect. But when she returned to check on her tree, what she saw was not pleasant.
"Can you imagine that the goats had eaten my tree?" says a visibly disturbed Mutagamba. "I could not believe that the place as bare as Kumi could afford to lose a tree carelessly like that."
It is not easy for government officials to promote the national tree planting campaign that is expected to start in March. The campaign is being spear-headed by Mutagamba and her two deputies, Jessica Eriyo and Jennifer Namuyangu to plant trees on International Women's Day (March 8), World Forestry Day (March 21), Labour Day (May 1) and World Youth Day (August 12).
Paul Asiimwe, a land management specialist at the National Forestry Authority (NFA), says: "It is an intervention you have to look at with sustainability in mind. How do you plant the seedlings and leave them to any body to care for them?"
Tha Painting is by Benjamin William Leader