The restoration exercise dubbed "Environment, energy, forestry protection and conservation" is aimed at restoring 100 of the 150 hectares of the degraded forest land due to illegal activities by refugees from Kyangwali refugee settlement.
United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees-UNHCR in conjunction with the National Forestry Authority-NFA has
embarked on the restoration of part of the degraded Bugoma central forest
reserve in Kikuube district.
The restoration exercise dubbed "Environment,
energy, forestry protection and conservation" is aimed at restoring 100 of
the 150 hectares of the degraded forest land due to illegal activities by refugees from
Kyangwali refugee settlement.
The refugees descended on the forest reserve for
timber, fire wood and farm land. Stuart Maniraguha, the Director Plantation Development
in the National Forestry Authority-NFA, says their target is to restore 100
hectares of the forest with indigenous tree species.
He says they have already planted 50% of the
degraded forest cover. Maniraguha says they will also plant 100
hectares of Bamboo trees to respond to the energy demands, adding that the
Bamboo trees will form the buffer zone. He says those in need of fire
wood, fuel wood or poles for construction will stop on the Bamboo trees.
//Cue in:” National Forestry Authority…
Cue out:…At the Bamboo.”//.
Jolly Kebirungi, the Commandant Kyangwali
Refugee Settlement area, says the exercise will help restore the vast part of
the forest reserve that had been degraded by refugees. She says restoration of
the degraded forest cover is key and crucial for human survival and
//Cue in: ”NFA
Cue out:… of it all.”//.
Bugoma Central Forest Reserve covers 410 square kilometers of
land. At least 40 kilometers of the forest is a tropical forest. Bugoma forest
reserve is endowed with a high Biodiversity with 24 species of mammals, 465
species of trees, 359 species of birds, 289 species of butterflies and 130
species of moths.
The mammals include monkeys, chimpanzees,
buffaloes, Uganda Kobs and at times elephants.
A 2012 Chimpanzee census discovered that 10 percent of
Uganda’s Chimpanzee population was in Bugoma forest.
However, forest reserve suffered serious
encroachment in the past few years due to farming, charcoal burning, lumbering
and livestock farming. Uganda loses about 100,000 hectares of forests
cover every year.