We chose to support the Namirenbe Diocese Tree Planting Project in Uganda. This project which is managed by Bothar, a renowned Charity Organisation which is based in Limerick and which manages and delivers projects all over the world. We agree absolutely with Bothar's philosophy,which is helping people to help themselves. This tree project in Uganda will be highly beneficial for the people there and their environment and it also demonstrates our strong commitment to the environment. We at Ballyhoura Forest Luxury Homes are proud to be supporting this project.
The Archdiocese of Namirembe is situated in and around the capital city of Uganda, Kampala and also includes the Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria. It is home to over one and a half million people. Deforestation is a huge and current problem. People in this district are now experiencing first hand the effects of this deforestation, with extended droughts and less frequent rainy seasons. The local ecology has been altered with soil degradation being another knock-on effect. The Namirembe Diocese wants to respond to the Ugandan government’s plea to grow more trees. It is essentially promoting a low-cost environmentally friendly agricultural system that will ensure sustainable food production, livelihoods and the maintenance of a healthy local environment.
It is a sobering thought that 94% of Ugandans depend on wood as a fuel and annual consumption of this vital resource amounts to 11 million cubic metres of wood. Current deforestation rates in Uganda amount to 5,000km² per year, a rate which equals to an area greater than County Donegal being lost every year. For a country that is about the same size as Great Britain this is quite simply alarming. The project first aims to sensitise the local population on the environmental challenges that face them and how best to combat them. 100kg of multipurpose tree seeds and 100kg fruit tree seeds will be distributed and each local church in the diocese will mobilise parishioners to plant these trees.
28 fully fledged and well equipped fruit and indigenous tree nurseries will be established where the young trees are nurtured before distribution to parishioners. A Diocesan Afforestation Officer will be appointed to provide guidance for locals on the intricacies of agro forestry. Equipment such as wheelbarrows, watering cans, chemicals and spray pumps will be provided. It is hoped that locals will grasp the importance of conserving their environment and will plant more trees and understand that they can be a valuable resource towards sustainability.
The Church of Uganda is an independent part of the worldwide Anglican Church. The Diocese of Namirembe is subdivided into 55 parishes and six Archdeaconries. The Diocesan Authorities have done a lot of work to address the development situation in the locality by raising awareness, education and initiating various development projects. The Diocesan Development Office will be responsible for the overall implementation and monitoring of this particular project.
To date, 1000 pine trees have been planted despite two prolonged droughts at the end of last year. Progress has also been made in establishing tree nurseries, with the focus also being in urban areas where space is limited.