By Our Reporter
Aqua Tree Project is a campaign by Sustainable Fisheries Initiative that aims at planting trees for food Security and human health and to mitigate climate change challenges.
The campaign of planting a million trees in catchment areas of Lake Victoria and Refugee districts in Uganda was launched at Busiro landingsite in Namayingo district under the theme; Planting A Million Trees To Save The Lake Victoria; Each One Plant One.
To succeed in this, we are working with people in the communities where we do sensitize them on the importances of trees, teach them on how to plant/ spacing for different species and how to nurture the trees because planting trees doesn’t stop at only planting trees but also how to care for them as they grow.
We plant trees in schools, church lands, government lands, road reserves, homes and in the catchment areas of the lakes working with fishermen and women, students, church goers, clergy in planting trees.
Working with churches and schools creates ownership for the trees where school children are taught how to care for trees and conserve the environment.
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We have partnered with National Forestry Authority ( NFA) for tree seedlings and technical support especially on how to plant various tree species. Working with NFA has helped us to get not only technical support but also getting the best quality seedlings that range from fruit trees, medicinal and fast growing trees to provide fruits, shade, traditional medicine, soil cover, act as wind breakers, sources timber for making good quality boats for fishermen and also for renewable energy.
Working with churches gives us security for the planted trees and buy in for communities since church leaders are influencers of society. We work with parish priests, church leaders to call upon and encourage people to plant and continue looking after their trees.
With local communities/ landingsites, we form
Green Committees led by a local area chairperson and we continue making quarterly visits to see the progress of the planted trees.
In every school we plant trees, we choose
a Green Initiative Ambassador who takes the role of encouraging others to water and weed for the trees and contact us incase they are trees that need to be replaced.
AquaTree Project will be giving awards to the schools whose projects are thriving and well looked after at the end of every year as away of motivating them to plant more Trees and care for them.
Through our partnership with Ghetto Labs a team of young and innovative youth, we have introduced a Seed Ball Project for tourists and travellers to plant trees as they travel in a bid to conserve the environment.
A seed ball is small round ball-like with a small seed of any tree that include fruit trees covered with organic manure and a coating of clay to protect the seed and it’s manure.
A kit comes with 20 seeds of different trees and a catapult ( butiida) for casting/shooting the seed.
As you travel, you can reach somewhere, park your vehicle get out and shoot a few seeds using your catapult/butiida and continue with your journey.
Tourists come here and visit our parks, enjoy the beautiful green environment and go without doing anything to conserve it, but with our Seed Ball Project, they are encouraged to plant a tree or two as they visit different parks and game reserves.
We already working with some Tour companies and Tour Operators to achieve this.
Planting trees should be everyone’s role to conserve the environment, it shouldn’t only stop and just planting but growing and nurturing of the trees, that’s why we sensitize communities before we involve them and give them trees to plant.
We work mostly with women and youth as the key drivers for this project and this has enabled us to grow more trees so far.
As Aqua Tree project, we thank NFA for partnering with us on this journey of planting a million trees.
Planting a million trees is not something we can do alone as Sustainable Fisheries Initiative; we call upon everyone; from individuals, corporate companies, media houses, Government and Non Governmental Organizations to join us in this campaign let each one plant/ donate One
You can donate more seedlings, give us media for sensitizing communities, refreshments/ water for teams doing the planting, you can as well sponsor the awards/ prizes/ scholarship materials for schools that will have engaged and won the Green Initiative Challenge as well as fuel for our travels to and from different parts of this country, says Bakora Moses Mujuni Founder and Team Leader Aqua Tree Project