British High Commissioner to Uganda Kate Airey pays a visit to METGE’s nursery sites

Ahead of the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate (COP26), Her Excellency Ms Kate Airey, British High Commissioner to Uganda paid a courtesy visit to Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE) nurseries. These are Naposhi Nursery site in Bududa District and Bumaena women led Nursery in Mbale District.

 

These are Naposhi Nursery site in Bududa District and Bumaena women led Nursery in Mbale District.

These nurseries were established through our implementing partners; i.e. Mount Elgon Agroforestry Community Cooperative Enterprise (MEACCE) and Bungokho Rural Development Centre (BRDC), respectively.

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Ms Kate Airey plants a tree in Bumaena, Bushiende subcounty Mbale District, recently on her visit to Bumaena Nusery site.

Naposhi nursery was established in 2019 in response to the landslide that took place in Naposhi village Bududa District.

The residents in this area have appreciated the importance of planting trees and as many resettle back they are picking tree seedlings to plant to stabilize the landslide(s) prone area.

Ms Kate, upon visiting the nursery sites, appreciated METGE’s role in combating climate change through encouraging massive tree planting at household level.

“Uganda is among the 12 most vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to climate change and climate financing will help to build adaptation, mitigation, and resilience to impacts of climate change,” Ms Kate says.

She, however, called on the government to scale up funding to tackle climate change in order to mitigate its adverse effects because NGO’s and other private sector stakeholders cannot do this alone but only supplement government’s efforts.

According to Ms Kate, there is need to support women groups to promote adaptation and diversify the economic and livelihood activities.

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Her Excellency Kate Airey the British High Commissioner to Uganda

“Wherever you go, you will find women activists, campaigners and women cooperatives and this is because they have discovered the consequences of climate change,” she says.

She, however, noted that Uganda is also battling high population pressure, which she says, calls for building resilience now.

 According to Mr George Sikoyo, the Executive Director METGE, there is will and commitment by the government to fight climate change but more has to be done.

“We all need to take on the responsibility to take care of our environment or else the adverse effects of climate change will catch up with us,” he says, adding that as METGE we are committed to give people free tree seedlings to plant with our main focus to mitigate climate change through massive tree planting at household level.

Mr Zubair Matsanga, the Bushika Sub-county Chairperson says, “Government should teach people how to fight climate change and its effects because people are still ignorant.”

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British High Commissioner Kate Airey pauses a photo with Bumaena Women and at the extreme left is the nursery operator for Bumaena Nursery Site Rehema Nambuya.

“You find people cutting trees without replanting any for other activities such as brick making and agriculture to make money but they forget it’s the same trees that will help in holding soils together to avoid calamities such as landslides,” Mr Matsanga adds.

Mr Milton Kamoti, the Bududa District chairperson says, “all interventions by different stakeholders should prioritize people living in high risk areas”.