Straight talk foundation launches tree-planting initiative

Published on 02 June 2006

WFP together with Straight Talk Foundation have launched an initiative to plant 230 acres of trees in Teso, northern Uganda and Karamoja, as well as supply Tree Talk newspaper along with tree seed to 18,000 schools countrywide in 2006.

WFP together with Straight Talk Foundation have launched a Shs265m initiative to plant 230 acres of trees in Teso, northern Uganda and Karamoja, as well as supply Tree Talk newspaper alongside tree seed to 18,000 schools countrywide

“We hope to play a role in post-conflict reconstruction and in teaching young adults how to integrate trees with farming.
Ken Davies, WFP country director for Uganda

twice in 2006.

WFP Uganda’s Representative, Ken Davies, and Straight Talk Foundation’s Communications Director, Catherine Watson, signed an agreement launching Tree Talk Plus programme, at WFP’s head office in Kampala, February 3.

“WFP will provide food as an incentive for parents to invest time to prepare, plant and maintain woodlots in 200 selected schools in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Lira and Karamoja,” Ken Davies said at the function.

“We hope to play a role in post-conflict reconstruction and in teaching young adults how to integrate trees with farming.

“Tree Talk Plus falls under WFP’s Food for Education programme, through which WFP supports universal primary education in 13 districts, as well as the creation of school infrastructure, for instance classrooms, teachers’ houses and water and sanitation facilities; annual health check-ups for children; and the establishment of school gardens, woodlots and fuel-efficient stoves,” Davies added.

''Exciting day"

“This is a very exciting day!” said Catherine Watson. “This agreement will enable us to plant 175,000 trees in a year in places plagued by conflict, deforestation and dry climate!”

She said WFP and Straight Talk Foundation would provide seedlings to each of the 230 selected schools in Apac, Lira, Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Kaabong, Kotido, Moroto, Nakapiripirit to cultivate on an enclosed acre of land.

The programme, she added, would provide extra seedlings for each school to plant indigenous trees around the school compound.

Seedlings

The seedlings will be grown in WFP-supported nurseries in Gulu and Lira.

“Because of the conflict and harsh climate in these selected districts, we will provide seedlings instead of seeds,” said Watson.

WFP will not provide food for the tree-planting activities in 30 schools in the less food insecure Kumi and Apac districts, she added.

Raising awareness

Davies said WFP and Straight Talk Foundation would produce two editions of Tree Talk newspaper, each of which will be circulated in all education institutions in all districts alongside seeds for the most suitable varieties of trees for each region.

He said the newspaper and seeds would help raise awareness that trees protect the environment and hopefully catalyse the setting up of tree nurseries and growing of woodlots.

“Uganda has the third fastest growing population in the world, but is consuming more wood than it grows,” said Watson.

“Tree Talk Plus will help us create green areas where scarcity is particularly severe – the hotter and drier places which have also suffered unrest in the past 20 years.”

Incentive

Tree Talk Plus also falls under WFP’s Food for Assets programme, which provides food as an incentive for post-conflict communities to build sustainable social and economic assets (Food for Work), as well as develop human capital (Food for Training) to achieve food security.

WFP provides food in the short term so that beneficiaries can invest time and resources towards the future.