RULINDO - The Mayor of Rulindo District, Justus Kangwage has disclosed plans by his administration to plant trees covering at least 1,000 hectares in the district this year.
In an interview yesterday, Kangwage said the move is in line with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests’ policy, which calls for plantation of forests rather than having trees scattered everywhere.
“Our generation has a debt to pay because it destroyed the environment and it’s time we paid back this debt through planting new forests instead of passing the burden over to our descendants or anybody who will come after us,” Kangwage said.
He noted that the trees to be planted include Eucalyptus and other types which are ecologically friendly and can withstand uncultivable soils.
The mayor noted that the 1,000 hectares of forests will be planted around watershed areas along Yanzi and Muyange rivers in the sectors of Ngoma, Mbogo, Rabana and Burega.
He said that the planting process will be funded by the district and the line ministry and other partners like MTN, which purchased seedlings to be planted in nursery beds.
“In terms of planting trees and deforestation, there must be equilibrium. Actually, planting trees must be more than the cutting them and because of the high demand for trees, for various economic purposes, there is need for a continuous tree planting program to always have forests in place,” Kangwage added.
He pointed out that most of the available forests in the district are worthless qualitatively and quantitatively, saying that majority of them have trees which are 60 years old but with no economic value.
David Urimubenshi, a resident of Burega said: “We need to promote ecotourism in our district because it is another source of revenue; so the planting of forests will add more beauty to the nature of our district hence attracting more tourists.”
“I am happy that the district is going to plant trees because it will help us farmers to fight soil erosion in the area and increase our productivity, and subsequently our social economic standards,” Cecile Uwamukosha, a resident of Bushoki sector, said.
Kangwage noted that for the last six years, the district has also been involved in planting bamboo trees.
The national target is to have at 30 percent of land covered with trees and according to Kangwage, his district has so far reached about 20 percent.