By kanyiginya Violet
As part of the activities to mark KRC 20 years of community development, an ambitious initiative of planting 100 trees was mooted. The idea took off in high gear drive and by the end of the first phase of the campaign, over 100,000 trees were planted in and around the Rwenzori Region
The trees that KRC supported to plant 2 years ago are blossoming. One of the areas where the trees have done extremely well is Katooke, in Kasese District.
In 2016, as part of the KRC 20th Anniversary and the, Climate Change synergy project community tree nurseries in some selected communities of the Rwenzori region, were established. The community nurseries were established to act as outreach centres for provision of tree seedlings to the surrounding farmers to plant on their land.
Recently, a team of KRC staff from the Food Security and Agribusiness Unit, made a round of visits to the different interventions supported by KRC in Kasese District which among others included the community tree planting initiative in Katooke village.
On a guided tour by the Community Facilitators the team was taken to nearby fields in which Griveria and Acacia tree species planted are all growing in good condition about 8 metres high and spreading their branches providing a good shade to the surrounding environment. Some trees were planted in the buffer zones of a river and are therefore contributing to the protection of the river catchment. Standing in the trading centre of Katooke, one can clearly see patches of woodlots spread on adjacent hills established from the same interventions. Pointing to the hills across, the community facilitator proudly informed the team, ‘do you see the forested section on top of that hill,those trees were also planted from our community tree nursery’.
Suffice to add, if all stakeholders took up tree planning seriously, the effects of climate change would be mitigated. Many of the current bare hills of the Rwenzori ranges would already be forested and would be contributing much more on climate change mitigation.
One can draw lessons from these good results that ecosystem restoration is possible within a short period of time. With the right tree species, a degraded landscape can be rehabilitated and the micro climate of an area enhanced.