MUHANGA/GICUMBI - Over 40 employees of Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) over the weekend joined the environment campaign by participating in an activity meant to protect forests in Nyarusange sector, in Muhanga district.
Led by Ross T. Nathan, the bank’s executive vice president, the group was also joined by residents, legislator, Gonzalez Rwigema, and various district officials to tend trees on 24 hectares of terraced hills as part of activities to mark the end of the tree planting week.
Nathan called on residents to take care of the forest cover saying that the maturity of the forest being tended will ultimately benefit the local residents.
“Protecting the environment is essential to the future of the country. It is the will of the bank to be part of such activities,” he said.
Beatrice Uwamahoro, the district executive secretary, lauded the bank for its outreach programmes. She also asked the bank to get actively involved in other poverty eradication activities to promote community development.
On her part, the vice mayor in-charge of Social Affairs, Alice Uwimbabazi, condemned residents for the poor attention given to previously planted trees, noting that many trees had withered due to poor attention given to them.
Emmanuel Utangamahoro, the sector agricultural officer explained that the trees had withered due to absence of a specialist in the area.
He however, pledged to personally boost environmental campaigns in the area. Meanwhile, in Rulindo and Gicumbi districts, residents planted trees along swamps, roads, and in farms.
In Rulindo, Buyoga Sector residents planted over 2,300 trees in gardens and along roads in Gitumba Cell.
The Northern Province Governor, Aime Bosenibamwe, called on residents to form tree planting cooperative societies in the district.
“Authorities in collaboration with partners in development are committed to supporting tree planting cooperative societies in the entire province,” he said.
The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) 408 Brigade commander, Brig. General Eric Murokore called on residents to value trees, saying they are the source of life.
Also present was Mayor Justus Kangwagye.
In Gicumbi, over 20,000 trees were planted along Rugezi swamp in Miyove Sector.
The mayor Bonane Nyangezi, called on area residents to protect Rugezi swamp from drying up by planting more trees around it. “Trees are the source of rainfall needed for agricultural production and water for domestic use,” he said.
The district vice mayor for Social Affairs, Eugenie Uwamahoro led the exercise at Rubaya Sector, while the vice mayor for Economic Affairs, Ildephonse Butera participated in a similar tree planting exercise at Ruvune Sector.