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The Kenneth Kakuru Tree Planting Initiative-environment day tree planting


Planting Over 200 Trees in Honor of World Environment Day 2024 at Explorer Ranch in Bwerenga

On June 5th, 2024, in honor of World Environment Day, the Kenneth Kakuru Tree Planting Initiative, in collaboration with Green Lens International, Roofings Forever Forestry, Greenwatch, Blue Crane Communications, Vivo Energy Uganda, and other dedicated partners, came together for a significant tree planting activity at Explorer Ranch in Bwerenga, Entebbe. This year's theme, "Accelerating Land Restoration, Drought Resilience, and Desertification Progress," emphasizes the urgent need to rejuvenate landscapes and combat climate change. The event aimed to contribute to the restoration of Uganda's precious ecosystems and raise awareness about pressing environmental issues.

The day was filled with enthusiasm and dedication as participants planted over 200 trees, focusing on indigenous species such as Mugavu (Albizia coriaria), Muvule (Milicia excelsa), Musizi (Maesopsis eminii), and Musambya (Markhamia lutea). These species were chosen for their ecological and medicinal benefits, vital for maintaining biodiversity and supporting local health traditions.

Rose Kakuru Ikiriza Ngabo, Director of the Kenneth Kakuru Tree Planting Initiative, highlighted the significance of the day. "Today, we honor World Environment Day by planting over 200 trees at Explorer Ranch and Marina in Bwerenga."

Mahad Baryamujura, Legal Project Officer at Greenwatch, spoke on the connection between the initiative and Greenwatch. "This event commemorates and remembers our founder the Late Hon. Justice Kenneth Kakuru. It emphasizes that we are still on a mission that began over 30 years ago. The participation of more people in planting trees shows our collective effort in this fight."

Val Oketcho, Corporate Communications Officer at Vivo Energy Uganda, expressed the company's commitment to sustainability. "We have an active interest in tree planting because of the urgent need to combat land degradation, deforestation, and desertification. Our sustainability agenda revolves around people, planet, and partnerships. We actively seek out associations and groups with shared values in preserving the environment."

Kamukama Rita Lourdes, Marketing Manager at Blue Crane Communications, shared their approach to environmental sustainability. "We support initiatives like this and conduct community outreaches. We’ve adopted greener practices, such as running our fiber internet cables underground instead of using poles, to reduce tree cutting."

The event was graced by the presence of beauty queens from the Buganda Kingdom and Heritage Board, including Miss Environment Parvin Noeline Nantumbwe 2024-2025, and Miss Tourism Kisha Ruth Namale 2024-2025. Their participation highlighted the concept of "beauty with a purpose," using their platforms to amplify the message of sustainability. Miss Parvin Noelin Nantumbwe noted, "The Kenneth Kakuru initiative is bringing back the Uganda we had, known as the Pearl of Africa, due to its natural beauty. Activities like planting more trees are crucial to restoring our environment." Miss Tourism Buganda Kingdom Kesha Ruth Namale added, "I love to be part of initiatives that protect and conserve nature."

Nelson Byanyima, Founder of Green Lens Uganda, emphasized the importance of documenting these initiatives. "Green Lens is a non-profit organization that tells conservation stories, including initiatives like tree planting. We hope our digital content can inspire other individuals and organizations to replicate these efforts aimed at conserving our environment."

Rose Kakuru further stressed the necessity of partnerships in environmental conservation. "Our initiative's motto from our founder (the Late Honourable Justice Kenneth Kakuru) is about coming together with like-minded individuals and organizations. Partnering is essential because you need land, resources, financial help, and much more to sustain such efforts."

World Environment Day 2024 at Explorer Ranch was more than just a tree-planting event; it was a celebration of collective effort towards a sustainable future. The involvement of various stakeholders—from committed individuals and academic groups like the Forestry Association Makerere University to corporate entities and media partners—highlighted the power of collaboration in driving environmental conservation. As we reflect on the success of this event, it is clear that the future of our planet relies on continued efforts like these.

By planting trees, especially indigenous species with medicinal and ecological value, we take significant steps towards mitigating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and promoting the health and well-being of our communities.

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