We began planting trees in February 2016. In the village of Namusisi, in the Iganga district of Eastern Uganda, we planted 4 acres of pine trees (pinus carribea). They will take 15 years to mature. We also planted Musizi trees for timber and for firing clay brick kilns.
In August 2017, in the village of Nairaka, in the Luuka district, we opted for the first growing cloned eucalyptus trees. We planted the Gu7/8 and GC 540/550 which are resistant to both drought and termite attacks. We planted 5 acres in August 2017 and another 5 acres in April 2018.
These trees mature according to the target use:
- Construction poles – 2 years
- Electric poles – 5-7 years
- Timber – 7 years onwards depending on the targeted girth size
The demand for timber products is high, and the country at large, government and the private sector have to play a big role in preservation of the environment by encouraging the planting of trees. Fire can destroy a big acreage of the plantation, so fire lines (bare zones) are created to prevent the spread of a fire in case of an outbreak.
The major beneficiaries of these projects are youth and women. Emancipation of these two target groups greatly improves the welfare of the various communities therein. Crime rates are also reduced as the communities are organised in different development groups keeping them busy with a duly elected leadership and code of conduct.
In return for the use of their land to grow trees, CCREP pays villagers a small amount of rent per year. We have also invested for the following:
- Bush clearing and ploughing
- Buying seedlings
- Weeding, spraying and drenching
All the above have amounted to a cost of approximately $1,900. This money was raised through local contribution and CCREP members’ contributions, with government assistance.