Moroto: Speaker Kadaga led Parliament in planting 5,000 trees as part of a campaign aimed at restoring Mountain Moroto forest reserve that was deforested for various human activities.
Speaking at Katikekile Sub-county Moroto district, Ms. Kadaga said the campaign was launched in January during parliamentary week where they urged the general public to contribute Shs 20,000 to buy trees that will be planted 10 hectares of land
She vowed to push the ministry of finance to start a ‘Tree Fund’ in the budget for reforestation and conservation of the environment as government continue to enforce laws against illegal deforestation and mining.
“I thank the Tepeth elders for the initiative to own and protect the forest. Parliament has adopted Mt. Moroto as our project. We shall be here every year for three years to ensure trees are planted,” she said.
She however said it is a responsibility of every citizen to play a role in environmental conservation adding that the effects of destruction of vegetation cover in Karamoja have already been felt across the region.
Earlier Tepeth leaders expressed concerned that they are witch hunted by notorious pastoralist tribes in the Karamoja region telling them to vacate the mountainous areas so as to graze their cattle.
In reaction the speaker said on rights of indigenous people in Uganda, parliament will do is part to ensure the Tepeth and other communities don’t get extinct, “everyone is entitle to a right to live, own property and liberty so no one should intimidate you,” she added.
Parliament’s involvement in the restoration and conservation of environment follows similar activities that have been carried out by various government entities and organisations such as Uganda national roads authority (UNRA), UMEME, National water and sewerage corporation (NWSC) and sundry.