Most landing sites along Lake Albert, like Kaiso-Tonya, are desert- like and lack enough vegetation cover. According to Henry Irumba, the Chairperson of Kaiso village in Buseruka Sub County in Hoima district, the residents tend to be affected by strong winds that destroy houses, running water and the rain is also rare. Speaking to Community Green Radio at his Home in Kaiso, Irumba attributed such challenges to lack of trees.
Irumba, like many other residents in the area, says although there has been various attempts to plant trees, they have been unsuccessful because of harsh climatic conditions that do not support plant growth.
However, Alfred Kyamanywa a resident in the area has beaten the odds. He embarked on planting Neem trees in his homestead and the trees are doing well amidst the harsh climatic conditions.
Kyamanywa says he has gone ahead to plant trees at the church he prays from in order to increase the vegetation cover.
“Many people come at my home especially during afternoon hours to look for sheds. This is because they lack sheds in their homes yet there are tree species that suit our environment. Those who try to plant trees do not give them proper care and protection and are eventually destroyed by animals,” he stressed.
Kyamanywa, who is a member of Kaiso Women’s group, says he has gained more knowledge on how to protect the environment through Sustainability School program of National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE).
“In Sustainability School Program, we are empowered to identify issues that affect our communities and how to find solutions. Lack of trees for sheds is a challenge in Kaiso and we have to find solutions,” he adds.
Kassim Agaba, another member, also says he has planted fruit trees and are growing well.
“I planted a few orange trees in my compound which I received from an NGO in 2014 and they are doing well. I have made sure that I put a strong fence around them and protect them from being destroyed in addition to watering them,” he said.
Many members of the group have adopted tree planting at homesteads to change the belief that the climatic conditions do not favor tree planting.
Betty Bagadira says she has given out Neem tree seedlings to her fellow members to plant at their homes in order to be role models in their community.
While meeting the members of Kaiso-Tonya women’s group at Kaiso-Landing site in Buseruka Sub County in Hoima district at the end of June this year, Mr. Allan Kalangi, and the NAPE’s Sustainability School Program manager urged the residents to emphasize on planting trees their homesteads and also embrace establishing tree nursery beds as an economic venture.
Mr. Kalangi said they should identify the trees especially tree indigenous tree species that are favored by the harsh climatic conditions in the area and establish nursery beds to sell out to those who may need to plant in order to increase on vegetation cover.
“Tree planting is a good business where many people are getting millions of money. This can best suit this area because tree planting is a need to solve the challenges that come with aridity. It can also be alternative source of livelihood since you are experiencing reduced fish stock,” he said.
Story compiled by PRECIOUS NATURINDA