BunyoroKitara Diocese is among the Anglican Church Dioceses located in Bunyoro region western Uganda.
Tree planting project was initiated and launched by Bishop Nathan on his consecration and enthronement in August 2002. He is a man that loves environment naturally but the idea of pine tree planting was purely commercial. On this very day, he launching pine tree planting through giving out 2 seedlings to every parish priest present. The vision was that the project starts from the smallest church. One of the ways put to ease this exercise was that for every person baptised and for every one confirmed a tree should be planted. Fortunately, this good vision was met well with some people and generally good results were realized as we shall see in the numbers down.
As time went by, the diocese with the financial facilitation from St Johns’ Parish UK through Duncan their representative, helped to buy land in Kyohairwe, Wagesa and Kihomboza purposely for tree planting. They also helped to establish pine tree plantations in:-
- Duhaga (below duhaga SSS) 2637
- Duhaga (Around the workshop) 2463
- Duhaga (around the office) 342
- Wagesa 3108
- Kihomboza 3103
- TOTAL 11.653
A total of over 11,653 trees have been planted by the diocesan Secretariat while rural parishes have so far planted 19,404 Pine trees through the community outreach programme.
There were some good reasons as to why the project of tree planting shrived in this area.
This area lies in the one of the rich forested areas with Tropical high forests Budongo and Bugoma Forest reserves being by far the largest, with a lot of now highly degraded Riverine forests. The Albertine region with very high potentials in eco tourism and rich bio-diversity falls in the project area. The communities already knew the advantages, benefits and beauty in forests. This followed that the idea of commerciality was an added attraction.
Along the way, God blessed us with partnerships and Alliances with ARC, WWF and SPGC. . The driving force of WWF and ARC was/is climate mitigation and conservation of nature; while SPGC is more of income. When WW F learnt that the diocese was involved in tree planting, they developed interest and helped us in two areas; namely advocacy and establishment of a nursery bed of indigenous species.
As time went by, advocacy was done in two archdeaconries namely Kagadi and Bulindi and 364 attended. This was followed by a tree nursery that was made at the diocesan headquarters with 32000 seedlings of indigenous species. (Musizi, Musambya and Mutumba) The response from the communities was so encouraging that we established more nursery beds at Each Archdeaconry.
Conclusion:- In our endevours to promote tree planting, climate mitigation and environment issues, it was included in the five year development Plan of the Diocese with emphasis on promotion of sustainable environment for holistic development in all its Parishes and churches through promoting livelihood support and sustainable environment programmes such; community afforestation programme, sustainable agriculture at household levels, promoting horticulture, zero grazing, Milk processing, Apiary, promotion of energy saving technologies such as stoves as initiatives towards that direction and use of solar lighting for clean environment.