Uganda – Tree nurseries in Hoima municipality

According to the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics (Uganda Statistical Abstract 2015) the country’s deforestation rate was 5,4 percent per year between 2005 and 2010.
The rate seems to be increasing.
A team from Hoima that follow the international training program “Municipal Financing Supporting Local Development and Local Democracy” now aim to create highly productive tree nurseries.

The ultimate goal is halting the environmental degradation and to give poor citizens an opportunity of earning an income. Environmental degradation has a direct negative effect on the agricultural production, biodiversity, and availability of wood in the Hoima district.
These negative changes are exacerbated by climate change and in case has negative effects on the health of the population.

Examples of such effects are ill-health due to lack of vital nutrients, increased degenerative spinal changes and prolapsed aniated discs due to the fact that women have to walk longer distances to collect fuelwood for cooking.

The team from Hoima Municipality that follows the international training program “Municipal Financing Supporting Local Development and Local Democracy”, run jointly by ICLD and UNCDF, wants to contribute to solving this problem by creating highly productive tree nurseries.

The participants describe the current situation in the following words:
– The tree nurseries in Hoima Municipality are very basic, small and roadside or operated on river banks.

These nurseries are not capable of producing large numbers of seedlings of a consistent quality to meet the present demand. There is unmet need. The nurseries are to a large extent run by poor women and youth with very limited resources.
Under these conditions planting high quality seeds becomes impossible.

Hoima is an oil city of approximately half a million inhabitants located in Mid-Western Uganda. The Hoima Municipal Council envisions the future of their “oil city” as one that provides quality services for their citizens, has a good infrastructure and where the citizens have productive jobs to go to.
These targets are set high, given that Hoima is poverty-stricken and has a population growth of over 10 percent annually today.

Hoima district, as much of the rest of Uganda, is very rich in natural resources. 85 percent of the population of the country depends directly on these for their livelihood. To manage the natural resources in a sustainable way is for this, and other reasons, very important.

The aim of the project is to promote sustainable, on-farm and community tree nurseries that can guarantee a good income and involve multiple stakeholders that can help with taking care of these.
The end goal of this activity is to increase the number of trees in the region and thereby halt many of the adverse negative environmental effects that are present today.