VHU Environment- Conserve Program
Uganda has lost nearly a third of its forest in the last two decades and could lose most of its tree cover in about 40 years unless measures are quickly taken to reverse the situation, environmentalists have said. Since 1990, it has lost over 99 million trees, primarily for use as cooking fuel. Increased urbanization and rapid population growth are slowly but steadily impacting on the environment and little is being done to avert a looming crisis. VHU believes that it is time to stop talking and start planting trees if Ugandans are to guarantee a greener, healthier nation for the next generation.
Kids Go Green Project
In 2013, we started this campaign in the summer last year (2013) and we planted over 1000 trees in 10 schools in Mukono District.VHU wants to teach kids and youth about sustainability, alternative energy, and respect for the earth because if it can engage them in active participation today, these people will be better prepared for the choices they will make in the future. To achieve this vision, VHU created the Kids Go Green Project and with assistance from 4-HMT-Project initiated the “Trees for Youth Development Project” and this project will allow VHU to expand existing tree nurseries and to organize additional tree nurseries and tree planting projects in association with local schools. As part of this project, we hope to establish 4-H clubs at the schools so that the thousands of young people there can take advantage of the benefits of 4-H Youth Development.
This project has many goals, which closely match the UN Millennium Development Goals (http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/), of poverty and hunger eradication, universal primary education, children’s health, and environmental sustainability. VHU wants to restore Uganda’s natural water cycle by using trees to bring groundwater to the surface. We plan to empowering kids and youth to inspire and motivate all Ugandans to demand a greener and healthier nation by taking charge of greening up the environment. And we started by kick starting a district-wide frenzy of tree planting in all schools in Mukono using the drive and ambition of the students.
The first 1,000 trees were purchased and distributed amongst schools in 2013. 10,000 seedlings are currently being raised in the Nangwa nursery, but have not yet been distributed to students and village leaders for plantation on the family subsistence farms. Another nursery of 15000 trees will be raised this year (2014).