Absa Bank Uganda and the Mwiri Old Boys Association (MOBA) have partnered to restore the forest cover on Mwiri Hill, which spans 560 acres, including the school’s 60-acre premises and 500 acres of forested land.
Over the years, the forest on the hill’s slopes has deteriorated due to human activity, encroachment, commercial activities, termite infestation, and inadequate reforestation efforts after tree harvesting. Michael Bageya, coordinating the reforestation project for MOBA, explained, “For this reason, we, the old boys of the school, have embarked on this initiative to reforest the hill and restore it to its original green status.”
The project, which consists of two phases, officially began with a tree-planting event attended by Gen Katumba Wamala, Minister of Works and Transport, along with alumni, students, partners, and the local community.
Helen Basuuta-Nangonzi, the Marketing and Customer Experience Director of Absa Bank Uganda, stated, “We are helping to mitigate climate change risk through a focused environmental sustainability program, ensuring that future generations have the natural resources available to live an equal, if not better, way of life as current generations.” Absa Bank will contribute over 30,000 indigenous and fruit trees, as well as staff volunteers for tree planting.
Deforestation remains a significant challenge in Uganda, leading to a decline in forest cover from 24% in 1990 to 12.4% in 2015, with an annual loss of natural forest at a rate of 2%, one of the highest globally. The project involves MOBA collaborating with the local community for long-term conservation and will be implemented in phases, with 100 acres planted in each of the first three rain seasons and the final 200 acres planted all at once.