Afrika Safeguards Consults in partnership with Vision for Africa High School, Nakifuma celebrated World Environment Day on Saturday June 12th, 2021. The event involved planting of Hass avocado as a means of restoring degraded ecosystems.  According to the Director of Studies, Vision for Africa High School, Mr. Naime John Baptist, most people in the area are involved in subsistence farming which has led to modification of ecosystems through wetland reclamation and vegetation clearance for farming activities. “There is urgent need for energy saving interventions since most households depended on charcoal and firewood.” He said. Mr. Naime thanked Afrika Safeguards Consult for choosing Vision for Africa High School among the many schools in the area and for providing the Hass avocado seedlings to be planted.  He also called upon everyone to join hands to protect the ecosystems.

According to Mr. Diogo Paul, Head Forestry Extension, Afrika Safeguards Consult Ltd, tree planting is one way of restoring degraded ecosystems, and different species are planted for different purposes. “Everyone should participate in tree planting, including those that have small pieces of land, can plant a few trees in their compound and along the boundaries of their land.” He said.  Mr. Diogo called upon schools to plant woodlots to have a sustainable source of firewood.

He noted that the choice for planting Hass avocado was made after careful review of its benefits to the school community.  Avocados are naturally nutrient dense foods and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals that can be a vital supplement to the school community. Hass avocado is a cultivar of avocado with dark green coloured skin and a smooth, creamy nutty taste.  It matures after 2 – 3 years and a single mature tree can produce more than 3000 (500kgs) fruits per year under good agronomic management.  An acre requires 166 trees (max) on planting spacing of 6x4m width.  Though resistant to drought, well distributed rainfall (1000-1200mm) is adequate for proper crop development.  Hass can be grown anywhere in Uganda; it’s friendly to all soils and resistant to drought. According to the Managing Director, Afrika Safeguards Consult Ltd, Ms. Scovia Nakawuma, World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on June 5th. “WED is the most important date on the calendar for celebrating our environment and ramping up global efforts to protect the planet.” She said.  The theme for this year is “Ecosystem Restoration”, with a special focus on creating a good relationship with nature.

Ms. Nakawuma Scovia called upon everyone, young, old, individuals, groups and institutions to join the drive to restore our degraded ecosystems by taking action, making smart choices and raising our voices for restoration. “It is our duty to protect and restore our ecosystems to secure a sustainable future for all.” She said.  Ms. Nakawuma added that Ecosystems are a web of life on earth because of their priceless benefits that include stable climate and mitigation of the impact of climate change, provision of breathable air (oxygen), supply of water, food, medicine and raw materials, home to precious world life, store of carbon, protection from disaster and disease among others.

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