Trees for Communities

Project Location: Ogur Sub county, Lira District, Northern Uganda

Project Partner: Friends of Environment for Development

Start Date: October 2014

Trees for Communities

For two decades the conflict in Northern Uganda between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Ugandan Government has led to the destruction of both the social infrastructure and the environment in the region. Trees were cut down for wood fuel and building poles and the loss of tree cover leaving the land bare, is causing erosion and widespread environmental problems.

The Trees for Communities project in Lira District is currently working in six villages in this affected area, including the village of Barlonyo where over 200 civilians were massacred and buried in a mass grave in 2004.

The project is being led by Friends of Environment for Development (FED) and the impetus to fund the project came from the East Hampshire Woolmer Forest Lions Club in a response to the call of their 2011 Lions International President, Wing-Kun Tam’s for Lions Clubs world wide to “show loving concern for all who inhabit our planet and plant 1,000,000 trees”

Now the project is working with 150 households to plant 28,000 woodlot seedlings and 8,000 assorted fruit trees which will be shared by the participating households. The project is tackling four fundamental problems:

Loss and lack of livelihoods:  Most people lost their livestock and means of production when moving to Internal Displacement Camps (IDPs) which has left them poor and very vulnerable. Through the project some income will be generated with each household expected to earn on average at least US$10 per fruit tree each year through the sale of fruit as well as it supporting the household diet.

Environmental degradation: Due to the uncontrolled and indiscriminate tree cutting, land is being left bare and exposed to erosion. The project will plant a total of 36,000 trees and other vegetation will be allowed to regenerate.

Building local community capacity: With a breakdown in the social infrastructure in the region, investment needs to be made in rebuilding community organisations. This project is supporting the establishment of FED, a new community based organisation set up and run by local people to advance environmental conservation and sustainable livelihoods.  Small community groups will also be involved in managing the project.

Creating environmental awareness. Work needs to be done to raise awareness on environmental degradation, climate change and the sustainable management of natural resources. Radio talk shows, film shows and training sessions will be used to raise the profile of the project and to promote the value of trees and benefits of agroforestry.

Lions Club

Lions Club is an international organisation with 1.35 million members helping local communities in more than 210 countries through 46,000 clubs making it the largest service member organisation in the world. Lions Club International is a secular, non-political, volunteer membership organisation. All of its administrative costs – at local, national and international level are covered by annual membership fees so every penny they collect through fund-raising goes to support good causes.

In the UK and Ireland there are 17,000 active members belonging to 900 local clubs.  Every Lions Clubs supports a range of good causes and projects. Clubs in 105D district in the South of England are funding  the  Trees for Communities project.

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