The Rwenzururu Kingdom has initiated a campaign to plant one million trees in one year. The campaign is aimed at solving the various climatic challenges in the Rwenzori region.
Announcing the campaign, Stanley Baluku, the secretary of the prime ministerial commission of the Rwenzururu Kingdom says the kingdom is conscious of the natural disasters that have rocked the area and believes the easier way to mitigate them is through conserving the environment.
The area has suffered extreme weather conditions ranging from drought, storm winds and floods. Kasese district suffered devastating floods in 2013, 2014 and 2015 that left properties worth billions of shillings destroyed. In July, Bundibugyo district was hit by devastating floods destroying the Bundibugyo-Lamia road which developed cracks.
Baluku says afforestation and re-afforestation have been proven to be an effective way of conserving the environment. According to Baluku, if every Rwenzururu Kingdom subject could plant just one tree, the one million tree-planting target would be met.
Most of the Rwenzururu kingdom loyalists are people who belong to the Bakonzo ethnicity. There are more than one million Bakonzo people living in Uganda. It is against this background that Baluku has directed each kingdom subject to plant at least one tree before this year comes to an end.
He adds the effects of global warming directly affect the kingdom not just because the subjects are affected but also because the kingdom has a sentimental attachment to snows that are only found on Mt Rwenzori. Rwenzururu is a lhukonzo word to mean snow.
The kingdom was named after snow because it seats at the snow-capped Mt Rwenzori (originally called Rwenzururu).