NYANZA – The Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, on Monday, announced that beginning this month, 67,840,000 trees will be planted countrywide in a period of one year.
He was addressing forest officers and district vice mayors in charge of economic affairs drawn from all districts in the Southern Province.
The meeting sought to explore ways to engage the public in the campaign. The exercise will officially be launched on November 19.
He urged forest officers to commence the exercise as early as possible, but insisted that trees must be planted on consolidated plots of land.
The minister asked district forest officers to rally citizens to plant trees pointing out that a number of those planted in the past were not fully formed due to negligence as residents were sceptical of the accruing benefits.
“We do not plant trees for the sake of it; it is a matter of restoring our degraded land. The government is investing a lot in the tree planting process and we want each and every seedling we plant to grow for the population to benefit over the coming years,” Kamanzi implored.
“Community mobilisation is needed to ensure that the population owns the planted trees. We need to convince them and bring them on board; otherwise we won’t reach our target.”
The minister reminded the meeting that the government was committed to transforming the country into one of the most forested lands worldwide.
“Our aim is to have at least 30 percent of all the total surface of the country covered by forests, but without the population’s commitment, we cannot achieve this,” he stated.