The Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has embarked on implementation of Phase III of its Tree Planting Project.
The entity headed by CEO Eng. Ziria Waako Tibalwa, on Monday this week launched its Phase III project at Wambabya Central Forest Reserve in Hoima District.
The project, which is implemented in partnership with the National Forestry Authority (NFA), is part of ERA’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative that targets to restore 60 Hectares of forest cover in Four (4) Central Forest Reserves.
These forest reserves are located in the catchment areas of rivers that host Hydropower Plants/Projects in the Central, Western, Northern and West Nile Regions of Uganda.
“Under Phase III of the project, ERA will restore 15 hectares of forest cover at Wambabya Central Reserve with Forest ecosystem values, including the water and tree stocks lost from the forest due to deforestation through human activity” says Dr. Sarah Wasagali Kanaabi, ERA board chairperson who officiated at the launch.
She applauded the National Forest Authority for accepting to partner with ERA to implement the project and noted that the trees planted are expected to support the forest ecosystem and the water cycle in the wetlands that feed into River Wambabya.
Dr. Wasagali added that this would in turn ensure access to clean water for communities and the sustainability of the Electricity sub-Sector through hydropower generation.
“The Electricity Regulatory Authority is deliberate about conserving the environment and getting people off cutting trees for charcoal. In this regard this year, a cooking tariff of UGX 451 and UGX 412, which incentivizes the use of electricity for cooking by institutions and domestic consumers was officially launched” she said.
Meanwhile, Ms. Charity Chebet who represented the Board Chairperson of the National Forest Authority (NFA), described the partnership as timely and thanked ERA for supporting the NFA in pursuit of the goal of preserving natural forests.
The event was notably attended by the full Five-Member Board of ERA and the leadership of Hoima District including the Deputy RDC Kyakashari Michael. He encouraged residents of Kijumba Village where the forest reserve is located, to improve their housing if they are to be connected to electricity.