Bunyoro's Iguru demands return of kingdom forest reserves
The Omukama of Bunyoro, Solomon Gafabusa Iguru ,has renewed calls for the return of the kingdom properties including natural forests.
The Omukama, who has always clamored for the property return, was on Tuesday afternoon launching the kingdom tree planting campaign at Sir Tito Winyi primary school in Kiziranfumbi Sub County.
Iguru demanded that the forests be gazzated and returned to the kingdom forthwith revealing that the failed return is responsible for the immense depletion of these forests. He lashed out at government for entrusting the management of the kingdom forests with the National Forestry Authority which he accuses of minding less about their depletion.
The Omukama said the kingdom has now embarked on a campaign to plant trees as a way of restoring the lost plant cover in Bunyoro through unchecked forestry encroachment and tree felling.
Vowing to pester government for the return of the forest reserves Iguru expressed optimism that the kingdom would well manage the reserves and guard against depletion, once they are under its control.
Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom wants the return of over 300 square miles of the forestland and large tracts of land given away during the colonial era.
The Omukama who gave out over 300 indigenous tree seedlings and planted some of them in the school compound emphasized need for his subjects to plant indigenous tree species saying they were sources of local medicine along side environmental protection.
He was flanked by his cabinet ministers and environmental conservation partners World Wide Fund for Nature-WWF, Tallow Uganda among others.
The kingdom premier engineer, Yabezi Kiiza, said the campaign was one way of rebuilding Bunyoro and conserving the environment saying the campaign will also include community sensitization on environmental conservation and also children in schools will be sensitized.
Going political, Kiiza warned the Banyoro against the current Walk to Work protests, alleging that the organizers were being used by some people to cause chaos and destabilize the oil extraction in Bunyoro.
Bunyoro has oil deposits in the Albertine valley in Hoima and Buliisa districts. Elisha Kyomya, the kingdom natural resources and tree planting minister says the campaign to plant trees in the entire kingdom is ongoing to restore the lost tree cover and conserve the environment.
Kyomya says before the abolition of Kingdoms in 1967 Bunyoro boasted of a forestry cover of over 379 square miles which he says has now been lost by half due to the rampant tree felling for timber, charcoal and land for agriculture.
He warns that in the next 40 years the forest cover in Bunyoro will be extinct incase such interventions as tree planting are not made.
The launch was under the theme, “Building a new Bunyoro by planting trees and conserving our environment".
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omukama of bunyoro
tree planting campaign