Every year, Northern Uganda Districts loses about 3% of her trees(2014 National Population and Housing Census Report NPHC) If unchecked, this trend which has been ongoing will lead to the absolute loss of tree populations by 2040. Trees are cut for their goods like wood and timber at the expense of their services like rain formation, water conservation, nutrient recycling, carbon sequestration and wind breaking among others. The absence of these services has marked effects on the productivity of land and water resources for the largely agriculture dependant community of Northern Uganda districts. Some of the attributable effects as a result of the reduction of trees in Northern Uganda include:
a) Erosion of soil through the agents of rain and wind leading to absence of: nutrient recycling, soil nutrients and soil organisms. These lower the productivity of land on which about 90% of the population derive their livelihood
b) Acute shortage of fuel wood. Over 90% of the trees cut in Dokolo are for the purpose of energy, majorly for cooking.
c) Exposure to the destructive power of wind. Every year wind blows off roofs of buildings in schools, health centres, administrative headquarters and homes causing unplanned expenditures to restore the structures. Wind is also responsible for the destruction of crops and introduction of dust and other matter which are harmful to health.
d) Less influence on weather elements like temperature, humidity and precipitation. As a result the rainfall contributed to by trees is reduced and erratic.
e) Less catchment protection. Wetlands are receiving less ground water supply because the contribution of trees in water infiltration has reduced.
f) Loss of food, medicinal and habitat functions of trees
With the above background,reversing the rate of tree loss will happen along continued demand for trees and the fact that trees have long maturity periods besides being prone to conditions that lower their survival rate; underpins the critical importance of developing solutions to the deforestation problem with utmost urgency.
As a result of the above environmental problem, the Rotary Club of Lira together with Dokolo District Local Government have developed the greening project which proposes to conduct behavioral change activities that promote conservation practices in communities in Northern Uganda, Strengthen capacities of communities (especially promoting female participation) and institutions in interventions that conserve trees and tree products for sustainable utilization of the environment in Northern Uganda by 2022 and to conserve biodiversity through planting and maintaining trees in the planting areas of Northern Uganda by 2022.
Whereas this is a 5 year project, Its planned to be initially implemented for one year(12 months) in Dokolo District(which has the highest level of deforestation in Northern Uganda)and later rolled out to other districts within Northern Uganda.
The project total cost for year one stands at USD 40,000 with 87% as actual implementation costs,3% as visibility and 10% as M&E costs.
This project will be implemented in collaboration with Dokolo District Local government, Members of the Rotary Club of Lira will support the Monitoring and Evaluation component, other related actions for the sufficient delivery of the project.