Clergyman leads tree planting in refugee settlement
As one gains access to Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, there are tall trees on both sides of the entrance. One can barely see most of the buildings in the area.
The trees have been planted over the years, and the pioneer in the exercise is a clergyman. He has not only rallied many people to his church, but has led conservation that has seen thousands of trees planted in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement.
Pastor Eleteur Nkinanubanzi has rallied communities living in the settlement to plant different trees that have turned the area into a lushly green canopy.
At Mukarange Village, there is a nursery seedling that Nkinanubanzi and his family tender to. “Mimi napenda miti. Kwa vile inasadia mazingira kwa njia mingi (I like trees. This is because they support the environment in many ways,” says the clergyman.
Sylvia Basemere, AAH Uganda Livelihood Project Officer, says there are three other nursery seedlings at Kyebitaka, Nyambogo and Rwenyawawa villages. The initiative is funded by European union through UNHCR and implemented by AAH Uganda.
Each tree nursery has a committee composed of the inhabitants, and headed by a chairperson. Nkinanubanzi heads the Murakange Tree Nursery Committee.
In a span of about 15 years, thousands of diverse trees have been planted. In 2014, over 130, 000 seedlings were distributed to communities in 22 villages within Kyangwali Refugee Settlement and planted on an area covering 44 hectares. The seedling are distributed free of charge.
Nkinanubanzi says most of his followers at his church, God’s Glory, have positively taken his prompting to plant trees. “They have planted many trees, and continue to do so. I am proud of their work,” the clergyman says with a smile. He comes from Goma, North Kivu. He fled conflict in the area, 18 years ago.
The tree- planting initiative is under AAH Uganda’s livelihoods, agriculture and environmental protection sector. Thus, it is aimed at environmental protection for livelihood-challenged communities.