Trees for Community Livelihoods: Wera, Uganda

Project Location: Wera county in Eastern Uganda

Project Partner: Wera Youth Foundation (WEYFA)

Start Date: February 2015

Est. completion Date: January 2016

Trees for Community Livelihoods

Background

For more than a decade the people of Wera county in Eastern Uganda have faced abductions and displacement by the Lords Resistance Army rebels and cattle rustling and raids by neighbouring communities. They are now returning to the area and beginning to resettle and reintegrate into normal life after many years of displacement in internal camps.

The land these predominantly subsistence farmers are returning to, has not gone unscathed. The environment has been seriously damaged with trees cut down for fuel and building poles with no replanting taking. Agricultural productivity has declined with farmers lacking knowledge on the dangers of environmental degradation and with an over reliance on bush burning and monoculture.

However, a group of local young people have come together to do something about their situation. WEYFA (Wera Youth Foundation) through their “Trees for Community Livelihoods” project funded by ITF and Worktop Express will be promoting the conservation and planting of trees on farms.

School Involvement

A community tree nursery will be set up and 20,500 trees will be planted not only on farms, but also schools and within the wider parishes. the trees will provide food, medicines, fuel, windbreaks and they will improve soil fertility.

Emadu Thomas, the Chairperson of youth group, told us that the project will be promoting tree growing and conservation through starting 7 environmental clubs in schools and hosting radio talk shows with listeners encouraged to call in with their questions. The project will also be assisting 100 of the most vulnerable households to plant trees on their farms and gardens.

Tree Focus:

Milicia excelsa commonly known as mvule or African teak is on the IUCN Red List as nearly threatened due to its exploitation as a teak substitute. In this project it will be used in environmental protection to control erosion and also to improve soil fertility as it is nitrogen.

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