METGE contributes 3.2m tree seedlings to Government’s ROOTs Campaign of greening
R-L: Mr Godfrey Natwaluma Programme Manager and Board Members Ms Mary Manana and Mr Patrick Akudo at METGE, hand over a dummy cheque of 3.2 million tree seedlings to Mr Alfred Okot Okidi Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment at the central office in Mbale.
The Ugandan ROOT (Running Out Of Trees) campaign plans to plant 40 million trees across the country in the early part of 2021.
The Ministry of Water and Environment in partnership with a number of organizations, launched the national reforestation campaign in March.
Partly to increase public awareness in the planting, nurturing and conservation of indigenous trees, which is also a goal of the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise (METGE) and we are delighted to support this initiative.
Mr Alfred Okot Okidi Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment and Ms Mary Manana board member METGE plant a tree at METGE central office in Mbale as others look on recently.
METGE is annually distributing 3.2 million trees to small holder farmers. According to the Ministry of Water and Environment statistics due to the unprecedented national deforestation rate standing at 2 per cent annually, on average about 122,000 hectares of forest cover is lost and in most cases it is the indigenous tree species being lost mainly especially on private land.
To be specific in the Elgon sub-region chances are minimal to find tree species that are over 60 years old.
The main reason why some of the areas in the Elgon sub-region are devastated by disasters such as landslides especially on the mountain slopes of Mount Elgon is because people have deeply cultivated the slopes and cut down trees which would have helped in holding the soils together on the mountain slopes.
METGE, is an NGO mainly dealing in tree planting by distributing high quality tree seedlings at no cost to the people in this sub-region, because METGE also wants to restore these indigenous tree species such as Cordia Africana, Albezia and Musizi among others have been extinct.
“We want to walk this journey of planting trees with the Ministry and therefore our contribution of 3.2 million will create impact especially in mitigating climate change in the Elgon region,” says Godfrey Natwaluma, the METGE Programme Manager.
He adds that the communities here have embraced tree planting and as an organisation we continue to help communities’ plant trees.
“Thanks to the donors of METGE: the Size of Wales and the Welsh Government from the UK, have always availed funds to ensure we give free high quality tree seedlings for people to plant, '' he says.
METGE staff plant a tree at St Paul's College, Mbale.
As Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise we are glad, we have supported about 33,000 households in the districts of Manafwa, Sironko, Mbale, Namisindwa and Bududa which has always been devastated by landslides are now planting trees.
Since 2010, METGE has distributed over 15 million trees and we are on course that by the year 2025, the target of 25 million trees will be reached.
METGE project officers monitor the quality and productivity of 45 nursery beds. The beneficiaries select trees from METGE nurseries and plant on their own land.
The location of these trees are mapped so that the tree coverage can be assessed over time and the absorption of Carbon dioxide to mitigate the effects of climate change that is affecting rural communities.