METGE recognized in Wales on St David’s Day
for its pivotal role in promoting environmental sustainability
By We would like to extend appreciation to the Welsh Government and Size of Wales for the opportunity that they accorded METGE, to show case to the world its pivotal role of promoting and encouraging tree planting in the Elgon region to mitigate climate change.
According to Ms Pulman Nicola director Size of Wales, about 18m hectares of forests are still being lost every year in Africa.
Something that has to be taken seriously as a country like Uganda because if we do not have in mind another strategy to see that we replace the lost forest cover again by planting more trees, then we are headed for the worst.
Ms Nicola Pulman , Director Size of Wales
Here In the Elgon region the adverse effects of climate change have already or always surface, with mudslides especially during heavy down pours when it rains after long dry spells.
In Mbale, people can bear us testimony with long dry heat conditions and the patterns of the rainfall seasons have completely changed. This is because they are less trees to help in rainfall formation and to regulate the heat conditions being experienced already currently in the region.
To be specific Mr Alex Mwambu a community facilitator on forestry afforestation in Namagumba Village, Mbale District attached to METGE through our implementing Partner Salem Brotherhood, says it is very hard to find tree species that have lasted for more than 60 years in the Elgon region, many have just been replanted a few years after mobilizing communities to plant more trees through the model parish approach.
Mr Mwambu says when the communities started asking themselves why they were experiencing too much heat conditions; they had to seat back and find a solution to encourage more tree planting than ever.
“I have to admit that the situation now is improving with more trees being planted by families at community level. Now many have started rejoicing, from the planted trees now, they can also do beekeeping an activity that was very rare in the Elgon region. Our coffee yields have increased, this is because coffee trees yield more when they are under a shade which shade is provided by other tree species,” Mr Mwambu says.
Sunu Women tree planting group- one of METGE's tree planting group
Forests are second to agriculture in terms of household income especially in rural areas. When we realized the importance of forests as METGE we embarked on training communities on how they can do beekeeping especially as a business from their own planted forests.
Women groups that are supported by METGE through our implementing partners who do beekeeping testify that they have indeed improved their household incomes when they get honey from the bees to sell.
The groups share premiums after sale of harvested honey. Many say they are able to meet basic needs in their families to supplement on what the heads of families provide.
About St David’s day in Wales
St David was the first saint to introduce Christianity in Wales. On 1st March every year St David is honored in Wales.
However, every year the celebrations are marked under a theme and this year the main focus of the event was revolving around sustainability, climate change and reforestation.