Lira Catholic Diocese through its development arm- Caritas has committed to plant 100,000 trees in districts across Lango Sub-region in a bid to fight harsh climatic conditions. The Diocese launched the campaign mid-this year with the distribution of 30,000 tree seedlings for planting at different parishes. The tree variety includes pines, Neem, Grevillea, Eucalyptus, and Mahogany among others.
Bishop Sanctus Lino Wanok, the Ordinary of Lira Diocese explained that human activities have degenerated the land making it unproductive thus the need for people to plant more trees.
Bishop Wanok also cautioned farmers against burning down grass in the name of preparing grazing land for animals and poorly discarding plastics, saying it is another way that man is destroying the environment.
Rev Fr. Boniface Okori Acuma, the Director of Caritas Lira explained that tree planting is another way through which they are fighting climate change and promoting good agricultural practices. According to him, the next distribution will target other entities such as sub counties, and other institutions, including vacant diocesan land.
“But we are a little bit skeptical about planting eucalyptus because we know the effect it has on the soil so we are selecting the site where we are planting eucalyptus very carefully because we don’t want to again cause that effect to the soil.” He added.
Samuel Okwir, a resident of Agweng parish, Alango Sub-county in Otuke District who received tree seedlings and planted them this year is excited about the next distribution saying it should be given to people in rural areas whom he said have vast land not being used.
Elizabeth Atim, another resident of the Otuke district is excited about the initiative saying the planted trees will provide good shade for the crops and also income in the long run.
Early this year, the leadership of Tekwaro Lango, the then parallel faction of Lango cultural leadership in conjunction with the Ministry of Water and Environment launched “the Greening Lango Project,” a tree planting drive geared towards planting a million trees in one year in an attempt to avert climate change. These activities are in line with Uganda’s Vision 2040 intended to restore forest cover by up to 24% as it was in 1990.