Clergy race to restore God’s nature with 1 million trees

A priest and volunteers plant trees at Nandere Hill in Nyimbwa Sub-county, Luweero District, on Wednesday. Photo/Dan Wandera

What you need to know:

The exercise targets different villages in Luweero and institutions, including schools.

Backed by Pope Francis’ inspirational letter; ‘Laudato Si ’ that rallies the Church and the world to conserve and rejuvenate degraded environment, Kasana-Luweero Diocese has started a one million tree planting campaign.

The campaign that incorporates sensitisation on nature and land conservation, will be championed by village environment caretakers after undergoing a training and mentorship at the Bethany Land Institute in Kasana-Luweero Diocese.

The facility is dedicated for land and environment management services.

Fr Emmanuel Katongole, who is attached to Kampala Archdiocese and also the president of Bethany Land Institute, said the diocese has dedicated 500 acres of land to champion the conservation campaign at Nandere Parish Hill in Nyimbwa Sub-county, Luweero District.

“Piloted tree planting projects will be done at different villages and institutions, including schools,” he said on Wednesday.

The cleric added that the Pope’s  letter is a general appeal for the conservation of mother earth.

“The Church targets young people for the training while rolling out the tree planting campaign through outreach community environmental projects,’’ Fr Katongole said.

Fr Joseph Kakooza Nyanzi, the administrator at Bethany Land Institute, said the diocese takes care of a natural forest measuring 150 acres at Nandere Parish Hill, and a newly-planted forest on a 70-acre piece of land.

 He said the Church has partnered with volunteers and friends of the diocese under the USA Bethany Land Institute management board to support forestry and land conservation.

“The protection and conservation of nature through rejuvenation of the environment should be a noble duty for all citizens. We are witnessing harsh weather conditions brought about by the different human activities that have targeted tree cutting without replacement. We need to act now,” Fr Kakooza said.


About 100 environmentalists and volunteers from the USA, Italy, among other countries, are currently in Uganda and have camped at Nandere Hill to boost the environmental rejuvenation campaign.

The Church targets to raise Shs2.5b to propel infrastructure set up and the management of the tree campaign.

“The entire initiative will cover distribution of tree seedlings and monitoring tree planting programmes,’’ Fr Hillary Muhezangango, the board chairperson of Bethany Land Institute, said during  a tree planting exercise on Wednesday.