By Shamim Nateebwa
The Rotary District Governor for Uganda and Tanzania (9211), Mr. Kenneth Mugisha has underscored the need to intensify tree planting efforts as one of the ways to prevent some Non Communicable Diseases like Cancer.
“Cancer is the biggest killer disease in Uganda but most people do not know that deforestation and climate change are responsible for these deaths. Trees have a very good effect on the environment, by cutting them down take away that protection and the carbon emissions come directly to our bodies”, Mr Mugisha says in interview with KFM.
Mr. Mugisha tells KFM that through his signature Mission Green project, Rotary plans to work with groups and communities that destroy forest cover the most.
These include prisons and refugee communities with whom memoranda of understanding have already been signed to ensure that over 20m trees are planted every year over the next five years..
“We are working with people who destroy trees most like the refugees who use biomass fuels in the camps. we also plan to plan fruit trees in refugee camps starting with Nakivale to improve nutrition”, he says.
He says the project has already registered tremendous progress with 1 million trees planted so far and received international recognition at a recent conference by the Zonal Institute in Johannesburg.
Through massive afforestation Rotarians plan to bring back what has been destroyed by the older generation.
He says they have already signed memoranda of understanding with various stake holders like the National Forestry Authority, the Officer of the Prime Minister and others to support this initiative.
They also plan to work with the Uganda national Roads Authority to plant trees along high ways and are encouraging schools to interest children in coming with atleast one tree seedlings every term as a contribution to the mission green project.