Youth plant trees to fight climate change

A youth activism group under the Act Africa Now initiative realised a way to add value to slum communities around Kampala city suburbs by planting trees to fight climate change.

“We managed to plant 350 trees and issued out about 2000 to the urban slum communities. This is aligned with our vision to see Uganda green,” said Oscar Senyonga, the founder of the group.

The movement, he emphasises is under the Mambia Arts Foundation and is aligned towards environmental conservation and sustainability.

The team of volunteers digs up drainage pits and offers seedlings and trees to these communities on top of giving basic training on conservative environmental methods.

He said they recognise the increased urbanisation in urban slum settlements which exposes the population to several health risks.

“Slums having cheaper accommodation are highly congested and make the environment prone to unhygienic conditions such as poor waste disposal, unclean water and toilets.”

He said the tree planting and environmental conservation campaign will awaken the public on issues such as global warming, climate change and sensitisation about environmental diseases.

Last year, the Ministry of Water and Environment put up a tree planting campaign in districts of Koboko, Apac and Otuke, among others, to reinforce the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act of 2003 which makes tree planting compulsory at household level.

Senyonga revealed how the work dynamics around slum settlements decelerate progress and calls upon all stakeholders to scale up environmental campaigns.

“In some communities, we are identified as a political group which retards community involvement. Volunteers also have a profound fear to work in ghettos rising from their concerns on insecurity and filth,” he said.

The tree planting campaign is effective in enhancing great climate patterns which is of great value in addition to better environmental conditions and productive yields in farming.

Jalia Namiiro, the village vice chairperson at Kakajo Zone 1 in Kisenyi Kampala applauded the movement’s initiative.

“Before, we struggled with waste collection as there were delays in collection of waste by garbage trucks. However, with this initiative, we are able to be vigilant with our hygiene practices,” she said.

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