The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has engaged residents of Arua and Maracha-Terego districts to plant hundreds of trees to combat global warming.
The tree planting exercise is part of the 448 trillion-shilling West Nile refugee rehabilitation project.
Edison Adiribo, the Arua Forestry Officer, says that six hundred thousand trees will be planted in the West Nile. He says that since the project started in July this year, one hundred thousand trees have been planted.
During the two decades of war in Southern Sudan, the West Nile became home to hundreds of Sudanese refugees. Large sections of natural forest were cut to build refugee settlement areas and those that were left intact were depleted by charcoal makers and tobacco farms.
Adiribo says that despite the return of more than 90 percent of the Sudanese refugees, depletion of the forests continues due to the high demand for timber and charcoal.
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Edison Adiribo says the tree planting exercise will center on former refugee settlement areas and other locations under the Farm Income Enhancement and Forest Conservation program.
Ombokoro Women's Group in Ajia Sub-County, Arua, is one of the organizations selected to spearhead the tree planting. Angela Wadiko, the group's chairperson, says 1,000 hectares has been identified for the planting of seedlings from the district.