While we celebrate 50 year old trees in Rwakitura, the National Forestry Authority plans to cut down 72 year old trees in Karamoja with invaluable value – environmentally, economically, socially, spiritually – and most of all on which the lives of humans and other animals depend.
The forestry authority intends to harvest more than 5,185 mature trees, planted in 1945 by the colonial government on top of Mt Moroto. Mr Samuel Lote, one of the Tepeth elders, said cutting down natural tress in water stressed areas such as Moroto will expose them to severe drought, heat and water shortages. “Those tress play a vital role in the lives of Tepeth people a reason they have stayed for hundred years without being tampered,” he said. Ms Grace Nangiro, another resident, said besides generating rainfall, the Tepeth community has a special traditional attachment to the tress. “That forest acts as our traditional healing place where we take our people with strange sickness such as epilepsy, women who cannot give birth, and many other things,” she said.