Colonel Michael Walaka Hyeroba, the Contingent Commander of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) under the East African Community Region Force (EACRF) in the Eastern DRC –North Kivu spearheaded the launch of planting over 300,000 assorted tree species as part of its efforts to fight against the rampant environmental degradation and climate change in the province of Rutshuru- North Kivu.
The tree planting campaign was launched at the UPDF Contingent headquarters in Nyongera Kiwanja and will be rolled out to the entire UPDF areas of responsibility Bunagana, Tshengerero and Mabenga.
Col Hyeroba said that the exercise is one of UPDF’s domestic traditions of keeping the environment green and free from degradation adding that it’s equally the role of the force to protect the environment.
“We have secured at least 300,000 various types of trees and fruits and have distributed them to the soldiers for planting,” said Col Hyeroba
The drive follows concerns about the rampant degradation of trees and land covers in the general areas of UPDF’s area of responsibility and its surroundings which is most likely to affect the climate in the future if it’s not rescued.
“It is therefore a concern to EACRF that we preserve the ecosystem so as to address the predicaments of global warming’s effects and to promote the betterment of climate in the region,” Col Hyeroba added.
He called upon the Soldiers and Officers from all units, heads of departments and component commanders to take full responsibility for ensuring that the trees grow under all conditions.
The trees planted included eucalyptus, gravera, jack fruits, mangoes, and pawpaw among other species.