Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ugandan communities plant trees to avert disaster

British Red Cross: The Red Cross has responded to a call from the Ugandan Ministry of Disaster Preparedness to provide 50,000 tree seedlings, which will help reforest parts of the Mount Elgon region.

The tree-planting project is part of a new Uganda Red Cross programme, launched in September 2012, to reduce the impact of disasters in the Elgon region. The majority of families depend on the land for their survival, putting pressure on natural resources.  Environmental degradation in this region is one of the factors causing more frequent floods and landslides over the last few years.

Karen Peachey, British Red Cross representative in east Africa, said: “Such disasters are only going to become a greater threat due to a rapidly growing population, continuing environmental degradation and climate change, which is predicted to increase both the dry spells and intense rains. The programme, which is supported by the British Red Cross, will help communities be better prepared, saving both lives and livelihoods.”

The Uganda Red Cross is helping 30 communities in the districts of Bududa, Bulambuli, Manafwa and Bukedea. William Kimanai, a 34-year old community volunteer in Wanga village, Bulambuli district, said: “We’ve been given a number of tree species including mangoes, guavas, oranges and eucalyptus. The trees conserve moisture and that is why we plant them along the river banks. We encourage every household member to plant at least three trees.”...

Mount Elgon, shot by Kristina Just, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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