Private school launches tree planting campaign in Masindi schools

Mr Anthony Baleke Bakoko, the Masindi Assistant District Forestry Officer. (Image: Moses Andama)

As environmentalists realise that tree cover is being destroyed indiscriminately especially in Bunyoro Region, efforts to conserve the environment are now being channelled to school children to enable them grow up knowing the importance of forests to humanity and other living organisms.

The campaign to inculcate the message of the importance of trees into school children has begun with the efforts of a private school proprietor in Masindi liaising with the district forestry department launching a tree planting exercise in all primary schools with the aim of protecting the existing trees and restoring the already degraded environment.

The three-year-campaign by Shines Children Foundation primary school in Miirya sub-county will see more than 40,000 tree species planted in three years at both private and government aided schools as a way of ensuring that the ecosystem is protected against the increased environmental degradation in the district.

Launching the cause, the Masindi Assistant District Forestry Officer, Mr Anthony Baleke Bakoko, was optimistic that once children are involved in the campaign, they will know and understand the importance of greening the environment at an early age, thus, becoming influencers to their homes which will ultimately result in saving forests and wetlands that are degraded by their parents.

Mr Bakoko added that while planting trees at selected educational establishments, emphasis will also be put on fruit trees that children will enjoy and supplement on their diet for a healthier body.

To achieve this, the forester said in the continuous process of planting trees, schools will be given seedlings depending on the size of the land and capacity to tend to them with the objective of ensuring that they grow well.

Mr Denis Kirya, the Director Shines Foundation primary school, said protecting the environment needs synergy, the reason the school is partnering with Masindi district local government to raise environmental conservation concerns, awareness, restoration and conservation.

He said the approaches will save the environment from collapsing through loss of a number of tree species and ecosystems due to pollution and other human activities dangerous to the environment.

The director added that the programme that will practically plant trees and create awareness to school children and ensure ecosystem recovery will also involve teachers who will be oriented and trained on the ways of keeping the environment in their schools green so that they can pass the same message to their learners.

The Kigulya Division Chairman, Mr Wilfred Kutegeka, said having observed the high degree of environmental degradation, the Division authorities decided to allocate some funds in their budgets for tree planting every financial year.

He appealed to the residents to copy the design of tree planting at an individual level in order to restore the once beautiful green scenery in the area.

Mr Geoffrey Bigabwa Kiiza, the Masindi District Secretary for Production, urged all teachers in all schools in Masindi to always explain to their learners the importance of trees and the environment so that in turn the children can spearhead environmental conservation campaigns for a better posterity.

“Whenever teachers are with their pupils, they should be explaining to them how important trees are to people and other living organisms so that they can grow up knowing that trees play a major role in life and geographical set up since the future of this country lies in their hands,” he said.

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