18 September 2006

Uganda: 'High-Value Trees Face Extinction'

Kabarole — THE District Secretary for Production and Natural Resources, Mr Richard Nyakaana, has expressed fear that if the government does not consider encouraging people to plant the indigenous high-value tree species, they will suffer extinction.

He said if tree species like Mahogany, Mvule, Musizi, Elgon Olive and Codia are not planted, getting good trees for timber, charcoal and medicine will be a big problem in future.

Nyakaana was on Tuesday speaking to Daily Monitor in Fort Portal.

He said such trees in Itwara, Butebe and Nyakigumba forest reserves in Kabarole district had been cut down for human settlement, farming and charcoal burning .

He said if the problem is not given urgent attention, the future generation would find no trees, especially those used as herbs.

Nyakaana said people in Kabarole and elsewhere in the country were replacing the high-value tree species with eucalyptus trees, saying the species has a negative impact on the environment.

"Eucalyptus trees drain the water in the areas where they are planted," he said. He pointed out an example of the weak timber used to make furniture and charcoal these days, saying it was a sign that the good trees had been depleted from forest reserves.

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