Over 1,000 trees have been planted by a section of Uganda Breweries staff at Bethany Land Institute found in Nandere Parish, in Luweero District. This planting exercise is part of the Running Out of Trees (ROOTs) initiative that is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Water and Environment with support from other organisations in the private sector.
The ROOTs Campaign was launched in February 2020 as a 5-year project which aims at bringing private sector companies onboard to support Government’s initiative to restore forest cover. For the past two years, the campaign has managed to attract the support from various corporate companies and cultural institutions which include; KCCA, Tree Adoption Uganda, Stanbic Bank, ATC Uganda, MOGAS, MTN, Buganda Kingdom to mention but a few. These have supported the cause through purchasing tree seedlings as well as taking part in the tree planting activities across Uganda.
The tree planting activity is part of Uganda Brewery’s efforts to meet the global 2030 targets which are in line with the Spirit of Progress of Agenda. “At Uganda Breweries we believe that tree planting has huge potential of tackling the climate crisis we are experiencing that is why we are committed to reducing carbon emissions and acting on climate change,” said Suleiman Ngondi, Uganda Breweries Sustainability and Communications Manager.
Bethany Land Institute was founded by three Priest friends, Frs. Emmanuel Katongole, Cornelius Ssempala and Anthony Zachary Rweza as a response to some of the challenges affecting society including food insecurity and environmental degradation. It’s on this land that UBL staff planted trees in Lazarus Forest, a 162-acre natural forest which serves as a base of ecological education and reforestation at the Institute.
The tree planting exercise is in collaboration with Tree Adoption Uganda who will be mapping all the trees planted using the ROOTs App as well as monitoring them till they’re fully grown. “With this planting exercise we believe that we are gradually closing in on 4 million trees that have been planted only this year under the ROOTs campaign. We believe that we would have doubled this number by the close of this year,” said Angella Kasiimire from Tree Adoption Uganda.
Ngondi, who led the UBL staff to the planting exercise also appreciated the staff that withstood the scorching sun to plant the trees and help reafforest the area. “I thank the staff that took part in the exercise as well as the team at Tree Adoption Uganda that coordinated the planting exercise and Bethany Land Institute who welcomed and hosted us for a full day. With simple gestures like these and commitment, we shall realize our goal of planting the 40 million trees by 2025.” Ngondi said.
“Trees are crucial to our livelihood as they contribute to the environment by improving the air quality we inhale, conserving water and soil, as well as supporting wildlife.” Ngodi added.
The Running out of Trees Campaign also seeks to respond to Uganda’s International obligations per the Bonn challenge where the Government pledged to restore 2.5million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2030 through forest protection, afforestation and sustainable biomass production measures under Uganda’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).