The UN Refugee Agency in Uganda says it plans to plant 20 million trees in 2019 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, on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 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 expressed optimism 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 promote the coexistence between the refugees and the host communities.