Uganda Breweries Limited has today handed over to the state Minister for Environment, Hon Beatrice Atim Anywar a pledge to work with the government, other corporate companies and citizens countrywide to grow, restore and conserve 40 Million trees around Uganda every year for the next five years. This is in a bid to restore Uganda’s forest cover and conserve the environment.
The pledge was delivered by a group of runners who were flagged off from Kampala by the speaker of Parliament and delivered in Gulu after a two days 330-km long relay Marathon.
The Ministry of Water and Environment is leading an initiative to have a National Tree Planting Day every year in April for 5 years where 40 million trees will be planted in one day.
To support the cause, Uganda Breweries Limited in October 2019 launched an initiative dubbed “Running out of Trees (ROOT), a private/public partnership to raise awareness about the adverse impact of tree cutting activities on the environment, and call upon the public to support the ministry by planting at least 1 tree every national tree planting day for the next 5 years.
While addressing the public in Gulu after receiving the pledge, the state Minister for Environment, Hon Beatrice Atim Anywar, “The rate of deforestation in Uganda is high and the country will soon be water-stressed if citizens do not pay due attention to environmental management. Kudos to the organizations that have today pledged to conserve the environment. All other organizations ought to take up tree planting as a priority to manage the current climate change challenges,” Hon Anywar said.
She noted that planting new trees isn’t only essential in the fight against deforestation and to ensure that Uganda’s abundantly diverse wildlife has a habitat, it’s also crucial for the health of the citizens and country; more trees on the planet means more carbon being removed from the atmosphere and a more stable climate.
Speaking during the event, Uganda Breweries Managing Director Alvin Mbugua expressed gratitude to all the participants in the relay.
“The demand for timber and firewood, land for agriculture and other human behaviors have seen Uganda lose an average of 96,000 hectares of forest cover every year. The government has the challenge of restoring the forest cover and making Uganda green again.
“Uganda has over 40 million people. If each of us helped to plant and look after at least one tree, we would have planted 40 million trees or about; a big contribution to increasing forest cover and combatting climate change,” Mbugua said.
The Gulu district LC5 chairman, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi encouraged everyone to support the government to protect the environment and reforest for the benefit of future generations. He also called for greater awareness and education in the region about protecting forests.
This is not the first time Uganda Breweries is engaging in projects to restore Uganda’s forest cover. Since 2005, the company has played an active role in tree planting in the country. Under their E Green Initiative, Uganda Breweries has planted over 55,00 trees across the country with the recent ones being the restoration of 109 hectares of Navugulu central forest reserve and 100 hectares of Gangu forest reserve.