Planting trees
planting tree, sprout

The UN refugee agency in Uganda on Wednesday said it plans to plant 20 million trees this year to plug the deforestation by refugees in the east African country.

Joel Boutroue, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Uganda told reporters that the refugees hosted by Uganda have caused massive deforestation, noting that each refugee cuts on average about 20 trees annually.

Uganda, according to the refugee agency figures, hosts about 1.2 million refugees, with majority coming from South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Somalia.

Boutroue said he hopes that over time the afforestation measure would be able to cover up the destruction caused by the refugees.

“We would like to do more if possible to offset the deforestation that has been already done,” he said.

Boutroue said there is tension among some refugee host communities over the deforestation carried out by the refugees. He said planting trees would defuse the tension and also promote the coexistence between the refugees and the host communities.

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