Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Forestry Authority, NFA has revealed plans to plant more than 400,000 seedlings of different species in Karamoja.
So far, each district of Moroto, Abim and Kaabong has raised 139,400 seedlings in nursery beds, ready for distribution.
Tom Okello, the Executive Director of NFA says Parliament has given them funding to produce additional 300,000 seedlings in each district of Abim, Kaabong, Moroto and Napak next year.
The development aims at promoting tree planting in order to save the region from extreme effects of environmental degradation.
Okello observed that there is a big decline of forest cover in Karamoja and Northern Uganda.
He notes that NFA will partner with Nabuin Zonal Agricultural Institute in Nabilatuk to produce good quality trees that are resistant and weather friendly to Karamoja.
A report from John Lotyang, the Natural Resource Officer in Moroto indicates that rangelands have drastically deteriorated with some areas especially in Rupa Sub County becoming bare due to bad practices like over cultivation of one crop over the years.
He observes that wood fuel, which is the major source of energy in households, has affected the environment. Lotyang revealed that more than 30,000 people derive livelihood from charcoal burning and other activities destructive to the environment in Moroto.
He also noted that alternative sources of energy are very expensive and unreliable, forcing people to destroy the environment. Currently, the vegetation cover in some parts of the district is as low as 30%, leaving the land almost bare.
Dr Tom Okurut, the Executive Director of National Environment Management Authority, NEMA says they are going to deploy an environment police officer in Moroto to help with enforcement against environmental degradation. He also pledged to facilitate NFA in the tree planting program.