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Kadaga's Karamoja tree project dries up

The nearly bare land where trees were planted in Katikekile

The nearly bare land where trees were planted in Katikekile

The Mt. Moroto Tree Planting Project launched by the speaker of parliament in semi-arid Karamoja last year has not lived up to expectation.
 
In June last year, speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga launched the tree planting project in Katikekile sub-county with the aim of protecting the environment and addressing the climate change threat in the region. 
 
Parliament was to oversee the project for three years. The ten-hectare project on the slopes of Mt. Moroto in Tepeth county had a combination of tree species that include Mahogany, Markhamia, Neem, Cassia and Pine.

However, most of the trees have dried up. The anticipated forest area has also been swept by wild fire leaving the land almost bare. Some of the residents that our reporter found fetching water from the borehole meant for watering the trees said the project was abandoned by both local leaders and parliament officials. 
 
They note that not much effort was put in the project after it was launched. During the launch, Kadaga promised that parliament staff would be checking on the progress of the project every month. 
 
She also assigned National Forestry Authority (NFA) officials in Moroto and some local leaders to take charge of the project. Katikekile sub-county chairperson Michael Akol says the project was abandoned by the people entrusted to manage it. He notes that the team left behind after the launch of the project worked for only two months and disappeared.

Moroto district forestry officer, Zachary Lochoro said he was not involved in the management of the project. "Whatever happened to the trees. I am not aware. I was neither consulted nor involved in that tree planting project", he said on phone.

Chris Obore, the director of communications and public affairs in parliament, says the trees were affected by harsh weather. 

"We have a report from the NFA area manager. He says due to harsh weather, some species died and need replanting. The nearby river used for manual irrigation also dried up. We are going to replant the dead species when the rain season starts," he said in a text. 

Comments

0 #1 Akot 2019-02-12 18:43
This kind of move MUST involve schools & villages, if it's to succeed & benefit any area/people/climate!

Which means this project MUST not be abandoned, but rekindled & immediately as ruelrs/officials come & go, but climate change will continue to affect all, yet life continues!

Yet, even UN has not realised climate change will make migration worse, if not handled sooner than later - the worst affected areas regugee camps, yet UN is building & attracting more refugees/migrants, while nothing is done to ensure Good Rule in All Member States!

Even without Museveni/without government in place, Ugandans will have to continue living on their land, right?
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+1 #2 rubangakene 2019-02-12 21:30
Grandstanding effort indeed; why don't they sit down and plan these things like mature, intelligent people?

did she know that Karamoja, being an arid region could not sustain plant life without heavy investment in water resources? Slow thinking individuals should stop meddling and jestering in Karamoja.
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+2 #3 kabayekka 2019-02-13 00:56
(Moroto district forestry officer, Zachary Lochoro said he was not involved in the management of the project. "Whatever happened to the trees. I am not aware. I was neither consulted nor involved in that tree planting project", he said on phone).

Dodgy African administrators. A very important project happening in your area with tax payer's money, and you say that you never wanted to take any interest in it?

When are you African people going to grow up? It is not the fault of the speaker of parliament if Karamoja province has no single forest. But it is the catastrophe of all the citizens of Karamojo if the environment on their lands is in a real mess.
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+1 #4 kabayekka 2019-02-13 01:04
One remembers well in college during the 1970s when American and British Agricultural professionals used to load us up on coaches and take us on a teaching spree to study the delicate situation of the tropical environment.

That time Karamoja was ever green and with some forests to start building on. Because that time cultural tribal wars over cattle ownership was the normal activity for these African tribesmen and tribeswomen.
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+1 #5 kabayekka 2019-02-13 01:09
This modern business in Uganda where all the tribes from the South, North, East and West are coming to work and stay in Kampala is messing up the whole country!
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+2 #6 Kelly 2019-02-13 09:19
"We have a report from the NFA area manager. He says due to harsh weather, some species died and need replanting. The nearby river used for manual irrigation also dried up. We are going to replant the dead species when the rain season starts,” Chris Obore said in a text.

For me the last statement stands out the most. Replanting the dead tree species without taking into account mitigation measures should the same conditions prevail is just an avenue of siphoning more money.

Just like the “War” in Northern Uganda, this is going to be another repeated activity through which billions will be sucked out of we lesser mortals.

Oh God, what have we done to deserve all these?
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-1 #7 kabayekka 2019-02-13 12:53
Come on Kelly, stop moaning as if there is no other day for Uganda.

One has seen so much mess happening in that beautiful country but have never given up. The culprit are the Karimojong leadership who must be working with the people to sort out their environmental dilemma(bulungi bwansi).

They should start believing in themselves other than believing in Kadaga, M7 or Mr Zachary Lochoro or even God.

Because for God, He gave them a very beautiful country to look after peoperly and God warns the Karimojong great African cattle worriors that Akatono kolina nako kalikujjibwako nekaweebwa alina (ebingi). Translated: The thousands of cattle you own will all be taken from you and given to those who have millions of cattle.
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0 #8 Kelly 2019-02-13 15:34
My elder kabayekka,
I appreciate your optimism sir. I too wish Karamoja, Ankole, Teso, Sebei, Buganda or any other region for that matter well.

Investment and development in whatever form is welcome.

My plea with those in charge of our taxes is that even those peasants in Nakapiripirit know and understand that you do not plant cassava in November, why? The scotching sun from December to March will burn it, hence efforts and resources wasted.

My simplest plea to Obore and the Speaker is: “Will you first plan for the after planting hence have the end in mind?” We are tired of our taxes being thrown around on a “to whom it may concern” basis.

If the trees won’t survive after 6 attempts because no one is going to look after them, why not stop the project and save the funds!!!!
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0 #9 Akot 2019-02-13 20:33
kabayekka, thanks!

Without change of governance, without Ugandans in control & protection of their land right at village level, there is no way climate change will spare any one!

All over the world, people are moving away from villages that have become dry lands, because of destrruction of wetlands-trees-grass...for agriculute!

Karamoja has been left without trees/grass for too long, so this project MUST not be stopped or karamojongs will have to move elsewhere to live in!

There MUST be massive tree planting, wetland/forest protection, if Ugandans want to survive continued climate change - every village MUST start planting trees...as we know 'leadeship begins at home'!
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0 #10 Akot 2019-02-13 20:43
Kelly, thanks!

We are tribalists who don't even know what belonging to our tribal lands, then to the country, means!

Not only karamogongs, but all, must join Rebecca Kadaga & keep this project alive!

Museveni is ensuring our country remains his family business & we just watch, help him own every tribal land!

Tribe that still believe they will survive when Museveni complete conquest, are naive, sleeping & when they will wake up, it will be too late as non will have tribal land any more!

Rebecca Kadaga, it's time Ugandans stand up to defend their territory: Museveni MUST be thrown out & NOW before he makes Ugandans landless migrants!
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