UPDF Launches Massive Tree Planting Campaign for Environmental Conservation in Eastern DRC

In a proactive move to combat environmental degradation and tackle the growing threat of climate change, the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), operating under the East African Community Region Force (EACRF) in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have initiated a large-scale tree planting campaign.

Spearheaded by Colonel Michael Walaka Hyeroba, the Contingent Commander of UPDF, the campaign aims to plant over 300,000 assorted tree species in the province of Rutshuru, North Kivu.

The launch event took place at the UPDF Contingent headquarters in Nyongera Kiwanja, signaling the beginning of an ambitious conservation effort that will be extended to UPDF’s areas of responsibility, including Bunagana, Tshengerero, and Mabenga.

Colonel Hyeroba emphasized the significance of the campaign, highlighting that it aligns with UPDF’s commitment to maintaining a green environment and preventing further degradation. He underscored that the responsibility to protect the environment rests with the armed forces as well.

“We have secured at least 300,000 various types of trees and fruits and have distributed them to the soldiers for planting,” announced Col Hyeroba, underlining the scale of the initiative.

The decision to undertake this drive stemmed from growing concerns about the rapid loss of trees and land cover within the broader region of UPDF’s jurisdiction. This degradation poses a potential risk to the climate and ecosystem. Colonel Hyeroba stressed that it’s imperative for EACRF to champion the preservation of the ecosystem to counteract the impacts of global warming and promote climatic stability in the region.

In a rallying call, Colonel Hyeroba urged soldiers, officers, heads of departments, and component commanders to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring the successful growth of the newly planted trees under all conditions. This campaign signifies not only a commitment to environmental conservation but also a broader dedication to sustainable practices within the UPDF.

The diverse range of trees planted includes species such as eucalyptus, gravera, jackfruits, mangoes, and pawpaws. By introducing this variety, the UPDF aims to restore and enrich the local ecosystem while simultaneously contributing to the well-being of the local communities and the broader environment.


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