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Mwiri School and Absa Bank Uganda Unite for Hillside Reforestation

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Jinja, Uganda – Absa Bank Uganda and the Mwiri Old Boys Association (MOBA) are working together to bring back the forest cover around Mwiri School. The forest on the school’s 560-acre hill has been shrinking due to human activities. The land comprises the school’s 60-acre premises and 500 acres of forest.

Michael Bageya, who is coordinating the reforestation project for MOBA, explained that the forest on the hillside had been degraded over time due to encroachment, commercial activities, and termite infestations. He also noted that the replacement of cut-down trees had not been done effectively, leading to soil erosion. To address this, the school’s alumni have taken on the task of reforesting the hill and restoring it to its original green state.

The project has two phases and was officially launched with a tree-planting event attended by Gen. Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport, along with school alumni, students, partners, and the local community.

Helen Basuuta-Nangonzi, the Marketing and Customer Experience Director at Absa Bank Uganda, stated that this partnership reflects the bank’s commitment to long-term environmental sustainability. She emphasized their goal to mitigate climate change risks and ensure future generations have access to natural resources.

Basuuta-Nangonzi added, “We are privileged to partner with MOBA on this noble initiative, which will address the impact of human activity on tree cover through reafforestation to restore and conserve the environment. Absa will contribute to the success of the project by providing over 30,000 indigenous and fruit trees, as well as the support of our staff who have volunteered their time for tree planting.”

Deforestation is a significant challenge in Uganda, according to data from the Ministry of Water and Environment. The country’s forest cover decreased from 24% in 1990 to 12.4% in 2015, with an average annual loss of 2% natural forest—a rate among the highest in the world.

MOBA is collaborating with the local community for conservation efforts, ensuring long-term sustainability. The project will be implemented in phases, with 100 acres of trees planted during each of the first three rainy seasons, followed by the final phase, planting 200 acres at once.