Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Rt. Rev. Kosea Odongo, the Bishop of Soroti Diocese has ordered the clergy to prioritize planting trees this year.
The directive comes at a time when Teso sub region is experiencing significant impact of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, drop in water levels and increased frequency of extreme weather events like floods as well as drought.
Hundreds of gardens were destroyed by floods and a number of people reported dead after their homes were submerged in Amuria, Katakwi, Kapelebyong and Serere districts among others last year.
This led to food food insecurity, shifts in the spread of diseases like malaria; soil erosion and land degradation among others.
While confirming 142 children in Kaberamaido on Sunday Bishop Odongo threatened that he won’t conduct any confirmation in any parish unless trees have been planted.
He notes that while a big number of people cut down trees for charcoal and other uses, there is laxity in replanting, something he observes is putting the lives of people and their crops at stake.
He argued that by planting trees, the region will have been saved from massive effects of climate change like drought and floods that follow each other.
He tasked church leaders to make the best use of the land under the church to plant trees.
“All the Parishes across the diocese have land. This land must be utilized to save the environment. Every couple intending to wed must plant a tree in memory of their wedding. Climate change is real and all of us must get involved in averting the situation”, he said at St. Thomas Church in Kaberamaido.
Charles Etigu, the Lay Reader at St. Thomas CoU Kaberamaido says that his church members resolved in November last year that every parent who wants to baptize a child must contribute Shillings 500 for buying eucalyptus and umbrella tree seedlings.
He revealed that more than 20 trees have already been planted by parents and are growing well in the church compound.