Uganda Breweries Limited under its Water of Life initiative on Friday planted over 2000 indigenous trees on 40 hectares of land at Gangu Central Forest Reserve in Butambala District.
This was to kick start the recently announced partnership where Uganda Breweries together with Rotary Uganda will restore over 200 hectares of forest cover in various forest reserves which have been under massive deforestation through human activities.
The planting of trees to restore Gangu Forest Reserve was led by the UBL E-Green team, which is a group of staff volunteers led by the Managing Director Mr. Mark Ocitti, together with a team from Rotary Uganda and officials from National Forestry Authority.
According to the Butambala Natural Resources Office, Butambala District has lost thousands of hectares of forest land to human activities, with a significant percentage going to resources for cultivating their crops, timber and charcoal. This has led to a substantial decrease in water volume due to forest cover loss.
“Deliberate afforestation activities like this will go a long way in ensuring a sustainable supply of clean water resources for the over 1,000 people that live in and around these catchment areas.” said Mr. Ocitti during the tree planting activity.
“Over the next 5 years, we shall work together with Rotary Uganda and NFA to plant and ensure that the trees are well maintained and protected against illegal activities.” he added affirming UBL’s passion for upholding its strong heritage of investing resources, time and effort to environmental conservation.
The State Minister for Environment, Hon. Mary Goretti Kitutu who was the chief guest applauded Uganda Breweries for their participation in restoring Uganda’s forest cover.
“The rate of deforestation in Uganda is high and the country will soon be water-stressed if citizens do not pay due attention to environment management. All other organizations ought to take up tree planting as a priority to manage the current climate change challenges,” Hon Kitutu said.
NFA’s Acting Executive Director, Paul Buyera said, “The country loses about 100,000 hectares of forest cover every year, a situation that is worsening the effect of climate change. Government prioritized forest restoration as envisaged in existing targets provided in vision 2040 from the current 15% of total land area to 24%. However this can be achieved faster through collective efforts from individuals, communities, corporate organizations and religious institutions. Buyera said.
Rotary Uganda & Tanzania District Governor, Kenneth Wycliffe Mugisha said, “Under our Mission green project, we intend to plant over 5 million trees across the country within the next 5 years to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change such as prolonged drought as well as global warming.”
This is just one of the many environmental projects where UBL has a footprint. Staff have previously planted trees in Kamonkoli and Nabitoli Parish in Eastern Uganda, and recently restored 109 hectares of Navugulu Central Forest Reserve.