Government has mooted a plan to plant 40 million trees in April this year. This was disclosed by Sam Cheptoris, the minister of Water and Environment on March 6.
“In April, we will plant 40 million trees as a national campaign. Every Ugandan will be urged to do that; if you are pregnant, you plant two trees,” he said, adding that it will be one among many emergency mitigation measures against effects of climate change which humankind has brought upon itself.
“The rising level of Lake Victoria is alarming. People along the shores are already in trouble and may eventually lose their property or lives. We are proposing a 100-metre buffer zone around the lake. Nature has a way of revenging on us. Think about coronavirus… In karamoja we never had mosquitoes, but now they are everywhere... This is just the beginning, the tip of an iceberg… We can’t be cleverer than nature,” he warned.
Cheptoris was at a media conference to announce this year’s Uganda Water and Environment Week (UWEWK 2020) at the ministry’s headquarters in Luzira, Kampala.
The week will be held at the Water Resources Institute in Entebbe from March 23 to 27. It will be celebrated with the annual commemoration of three international days: International Day of Forests (March 21), World Water day (March 22) and World Meteorological day (March 23).
The theme for the International Day of Forests 2020 is ‘Forests and Biodiversity’ while the theme for World Water Day 2020 is ‘Water and Climate Change’. The theme for World Meteorological Day 2020 is ‘Climate and Water’.
The minister said this will be the third of the annual UWEWK, the first one having been in 2018. With the overall theme of UWEWK 2020 as ‘Water and environment resources for inclusive growth, employment and wealth creation’, two sub-themes have been crafted to guide in the exploration of the role water and environment resources will play in the achievement of the third National Development Plan (NDP III)’s goals and targets. They are: ‘Water and environment security for inclusive growth’ and ‘Water and environment for employment and wealth creation’.
The week’s activities will also assess the centrality of water and environment resources in increasing household incomes, employment, improved quality of life, inclusive growth and industrialization.
Since the activities will be open to the public, Cheptoris invited government ministries and agencies, donors, academia, political leaders, civil society, media and the private sector to participate.