Over 300people trek to raise awareness on the diminishing biodiversity, forests that now threaten our existence in Uganda.
On 10th March Vi Agroforestry Uganda with mandate from the Ministry of water and environment (MWE) in collaboration with key stakeholders organised a national walk dubbed “The Water, Environment and Climate Change walk ” as part of events commemorating the International Day of Forests.
Over 300 hundred people drawn from different communities in Uganda embarked on the 330-Kilometre trek estimated to last for 10 days to raise awareness on the importance of conserving the environment to help mitigate against the impacts of climate change. The walk also provides an interface between sector actors and other stakeholders for knowledge exchange, dialoguing, learning for improvement of Uganda’s water and environment resources.
The walk started from Mabira Central Forest Reserve and culminated its efforts along River Rwizi in Mbarara district. The walk was organised in a such way that the walkers would make different stop overs and demonstrate the pivotal role of water and environment resources in achievement of social economic transformation of the country, importance of biodiversity and forests/trees in the mitigation of climate change.
Despite the priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits, global deforestation continues at an alarming rate. As such to ensure the sustainable management of forests and use of resources, including its fragile ecosystems, in combating climate change, and to contributing to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations, Vi Agroforestry supported activities at 3 major sites in Mabira , Masaka and Mpigi with visibility and collective responsibility, supporting communities to plant trees during the walk.
In Mpigi district , the walking was punctuated by massive tree planting by the communities and school children with over 1000 seedling planted and over 3000 seedlings distributed to farmer families . In Masaka district the youth in Masaka supported by our partner Masaka District Farmer’s Association (MDFA) exhibited how recycling Solid waste (garbage) was earning them a living and how this had in return reduced the pollution levels of the surface runoff on streets. They also engaged in massive tree planting and exhibitions over , 2000 indigenous trees were planted
The walk which was organised by the Ministry of Water and Environment, FAO, Vi Agroforestry, NFA and other stakeholders, was flagged off by Hon. Minister of Water and Environment Peter Cheptoris and Hon. Minister of State for Water Ronald Kibuule. The occasion was further blessed by Archbishop of Church of Uganda (CoU), The Most Rev. Canon Dr. Stephen Kazimba Mugalu.
Forests also play a crucial role in poverty alleviation and in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s International Day of Forest theme was forests and biodiversity