In October 2013 Hands of Action Uganda (HOA), received $500 as part of a $1,000 grant from The Pollination Project towards HOA’s Fruit Tree Planting Campaign of One Million Tree Programme, which aims at reducing poverty and provide environmental education through tree planting projects at local schools.
The Pollination Project funds are to be used for the purchase of over 1,500 fruit trees and establishment of woodlots in the following schools: 1. Shitumi Secondary School, 2. Bulimino Primary School, 3. Shikhuyu Needy Care Primary School, 4. Lunganga Primary School 5. Busamaili Primary School and we added one more Bukary Primary School to make (6) six Schools which are to benefit in this Programme in Bududa District.
On 25 October 2013, 800 Seedlings of jack fruits, pawpaw, mangoes, Guavas and Albizia trees were planted in three schools. At Shitumi Secondary School 350 fruit and tree species were planted; in Bukary Primary School 300 Seedlings were planted; 150 fruit tree seedlings and other woodlots species were planted at Shikhuyu Needy Care Primary. The next round of funding will cover the remaining three schools, Lunganga, Bulimon and Busamali Primary Schools.
Over 180 students from six schools and six teachers one from each Schools attended the training of how to look after the trees, and receive instruction on the importance and different functions and benefits of the varying fruit species and the woodlots before the planting took place. The onset of the project generated a great deal of excitement amongst the teachers, students and surrounding communities.
Tree planting programmes and environmental education training is of particular importance for Bududa District, which is subject to severe landslides. Last year alone, mudslides in June and December took a severe toll on land and lives.
One reason for these devastating landslides is population pressure, which prompts farmers to clear trees for farmland and for firewood on the foothills of Mount Elgon. Without sufficient tree cover, the fragile hillsides are unable to withstand the impacts of heavy rain falls. Finding sustainable solutions, including extensive tree planting and environmental education training, is a major focus of HOA’s work with the farmers of Bududa District. Thanks to this grant from The Pollination Project, HOA will be able to continue to its work with local farmers to find innovative and sustainable local solutions to end extreme poverty, hunger and disease.
HOA believes that engaging with young people, and forging active partnerships with students and educators, is key to developing sustainable solutions. Young people are leaders of the future, which is why much of HOA’s outreach is focused on training programmes for local youth. After nearly seven years of operation, HOA’s projects have already produced new leaders who have found lasting solutions for their own villages, and replicated our work in hard-to-reach communities: that is how we operate!