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Runners flagged off for the Kampala – Gulu relay marathon

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By Our Reporter

The speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga has this morning flagged off runners who will participate in a 330-km long relay marathon from Kampala to Gulu.

Spearheaded by Uganda Breweries, the relay marathon is part of a series of activities aimed at raising awareness on the rapid deforestation in Uganda and calling upon corporate companies and citizens to participate in forest restoration under the campaign dubbed “Running Out of Trees.”

The 2-day relay will feature 33 main runners each covering 10km carrying and passing on a baton symbolizing commitment for the private sector to be at the forefront of driving efforts of rehabilitating lost tree cover. Each of the runners will be flanked by a number of pacesetters.

The campaign will climax into a National Tree Planting Day, to be held on April 25th, 2020. On this day, Uganda Breweries Limited and the Ministry of Water and Environment shall be leading an effort to plant 40 million trees in 8 hours.

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony, the speaker hailed Uganda Breweries and other participating organizations for coming together to restore Uganda’s forest cover.

“In the last decade, Uganda has carried out several Policies, Legal and Institutional Reforms aimed at promoting the conservation and sustainable use of the country’s forest resources. Among the key reforms include putting in place of the National Forestry Policy 2001 and enactment of the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act 2003 among others. Despite these interventions, the country continues to lose forest cover at a very alarming rate due to deforestation. If this continues, the country will soon become water-stressed if citizens do not pay attention to environmental management.”

“Corporate companies rallying together to conserve the environment and support government efforts is a step in the right direction. All organizations need to take part in planting trees as a priority to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.” she said, adding that Ugandans need to plant trees at every public and social gathering.

Uganda Breweries Board Chairman, Mr. Japheth Katto said, “As corporate entities, we in one way or another contribute to forest depletion. In the same vein, we have the resources to be part of the solution as well as have the most to gain from an economy set in a healthy natural environment. With this Running out trees campaign, we are playing our part in increasing the tree cover across the country by imparting the culture of tree planting and nurturing, thereby eventually reducing climate change impacts like landslides, storms, and floods among others.”

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment Alfred Okot noted that the demand for timber and firewood, land for agriculture and other human behaviors have seen Uganda lose an average of 96,000 hectares of forest cover every year.

Statistics from the National Forestry Authority show that Uganda lost 2.4 million hectares of forest cover between 1990 and 2015. This translates to an annual loss of 96,000 hectares, which acreage is equivalent to 96,000 football pitches.

During the same period, the forest estate outside protected areas reduced from 68% of the total forest land area in 1990 to 38% in 2015. This means that almost half of the non-gazetted forests were cleared in just 25 years.

“Whereas the Ministry of Water and Environment is already implementing restoration interventions through a number of development projects like the farm income enhancement and forest conservation project and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, there is need for a concerted effort from corporate companies to occupy their seat at the high table and start protecting and restoring the national tree cover in the midst of rising global temperatures,” Okot said.

“As a ministry, we have a goal of planting 100 Million trees this year. This campaign we are doing with Uganda Breweries and other stakeholders is a step towards this goal.” He added.

Organizations taking part in the Campaign include Stanbic Bank Uganda, Liberty Life Assurance, Total, Vision Group, UEGCL, and KCCA.

Going forward, the “Running Out of Trees” Relay will be held annually for the next 5 years. The next run will be held in January 2021 and will take the Kampala – Fort Portal route.

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Sports

Kampala 7 Hills Hash Run 5th edition launched, aims to raise Ugx 700 million

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Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF Managing Director addressing journalists.

Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF Managing Director addressing journalists.

By Our Reporter

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NSSF Kampala 7 Hills Hash Run which has been launched for the 5th edition aims to raise Ugx 700 Million which will go towards renovating select public schools.

Announcing the Run at Mbuya Primary school, Richard Byarugaba, the NSSF Managing Director told journalists that the Fund is responding to a challenge every year to contribute to the wellbeing of the underprivileged communities.

“Most of the underprivileged children in Kampala attend these KCCA public schools so it is befitting that our intervention in Education goes towards improvement of learning conditions in these schools. There is no greater impact you can make on a child or community than through education,” he said.

He also added that in addition to KCCA public schools, proceeds from the Run will also benefit 2 other schools in East and Northern Uganda.

KCCA Executive Director Eng. Andrew Kitaka said that partnerships with institutions such as NSSF have gone along in supplementing Government efforts to improve learning conditions in schools.

“When we started this partnership with NSSF, our target was to replace all asbestos roofs in Kampala public primary schools. We are glad that we are almost at the tail end of this endeavor. However, we also realise that some structures in a very bad shape. That is why we propose to use some of the proceeds to renovate such structures,” he said.

The schools earmarked to benefit from the proceeds are Munyonyo Primary School, St Paul Nsambya in Kampala, and Adwari Primary School in Otuke District and Pioneer Primary School in Soroti.

Byarugaba called upon individual runners to sign up in large numbers to participate in this run, not only because it is for a noble cause but also an exciting and challenging race that runners will enjoy.

“We need to have over 5000 individual runners and participation from over 50 corporate companies if we are to realise our ambitious target this year. Corporate and group participation attracts very competitive packages while individual runners can register at only UGX 25,000,” he said.

Individuals can pay using mobile money through a short code *217*277#.

Slated for March 29th, the run will commence at Pearl of Africa Primary School in Nsambya. The route traverses the original hills of Kampala namely, Nsambya Nakasero, Kibuli, Old Kampala, Namirembe, Rubaga, and Lubiri and will cover a distance of 21km.

6 schools have so far benefited from the past editions. These include Nakivubo Settlement, Makerere University and St. Ponsiano Kyamula. Works are also scheduled to begin at Mbuya Primary school, St. Paul Nsambya, and Kampala School for the Physically Handicapped.

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Sports

Fortebet Gifts Rock Bwera, Kasese, Mpondwe, As Over 1000 Get Rewarded

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By Staff Writer

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Fortebet clients in Bwera, Mpondwe and Kasese will take long to forget last weekend hundreds of gifts. Over 1000 clients received Fortebet’s precious gifts at Fortebet centres in the above areas.

The gifts, among others, included phones, jerseys, t-shirts, pens and wristbands. Fortebet also gave out reflector jackets to bodaboda riders in Bwera and Kasese in a bid to reduce their chances of being knocked especially during the night.

All the gifts were handed over by John Nanyumba, the company’s media manager.

 “I want to thank Fortebet for their kind heart. It is a great thing to win this phone because I came here with no expectation of getting it. I am also happy because even my friends have won some other gifts,” said the winner of the phone at Bwera centre.

Bodaboda cyclists at Kasese, who received reflector jackets, couldn’t hide their joy. “Fortebet has done for us something we shall never forget. It is the first betting company to give us these reflector jackets. On behalf of my colleagues, we are extremely grateful,” one Kassim, a bodaboda cyclist said on behalf of his colleagues just after receiving the jackets.

Talking to the clients at Kasese main centre, Nanyumba noted that, “We have come here to say thank you for choosing Fortebet. The gifts that we are going to give you today are a token of appreciation from team Fortebet.”

This weekend, Fortebet team will visit branches in Elegu, Adjuman, Pakele and Moyo. Dont miss out!   

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Sports

We need to remain united and work towards promotion of motorsport — FMU President

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Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda President, Dipu Ruprelia(c) addresses media. Looking on is Jimmy Akena(L), the President Uganda Motocross Club

Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda President, Dipu Ruprelia(c) addresses media. Looking on is Jimmy Akena(L), the President Uganda Motocross Club.

By Our Reporter

The Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) president has spoken out strongly against a section of motocross club members that have broken away to form their own association.

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The breakaway faction which is led by former Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda deputy vice president, Barak Orland recently launched a new organization named the Motorcycling Association of Uganda (MAU).

The group announced their breakaway last month and has even gone ahead to draw a calendar for their activities this year, with their first event slated for later this month at Busiika.

Speaking to media on Friday, Dipu Ruparelia, the new FMU president, emphasized that they need to remain a united entity and work towards the promotion of motorsport within the country.

“We need to ensure that we remain a united entity and work towards the promotion of motor sport with in the country. We should be able to sit down and find a way to resolve this issue without fighting in the press.” Dipu Ruparelia said.

On his part, Jimmy Akena, the President Uganda Motocross Club told media that he is against the breakaway and insisted that the concerns of aggrieved motocross club members must be addressed within the confines of the set laws.

“I have only attended a meeting for all stakeholders and when the issue of breakaway was presented, I stood my ground and told them that everything done must be within the provisions of the constitution,” Jimmy Akena said.

Akena further revealed that they have met with the new FMU leadership and promised to resolve their issues amicably.

“FMU is the sole body affiliated to National Council of Sports and any other body formed right now is illegal. Any individuals participating in their events should know that their points won’t be recognized.” Dipu Ruparelia further warned.


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Corporate companies run to restore forest cover in Uganda

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Participants in the Kampala-Gulu relay marathon pose with their honorary medals at Pece War Memorial Stadium in Gulu following completion of the 330km marathon.

By Our Reporter

Uganda Breweries Limited has handed over to the state Minister for Environment, Hon Beatrice Atim Anywar a pledge to work with the government, other corporate companies and citizens countrywide to grow, restore and conserve 40 Million trees around Uganda every year for the next five years. This is in a bid to restore Uganda’s forest cover and conserve the environment.

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The pledge was delivered by a group of runners who were flagged off from Kampala by the speaker of Parliament and delivered in Gulu after a two days 330-km long relay Marathon.

The Ministry of Water and Environment is leading an initiative to have a National Tree Planting Day every year in April for 5 years where 40 million trees will be planted in one day.

To support the cause, Uganda Breweries Limited in October 2019 launched an initiative dubbed “Running out of Trees (ROOT), a private/public partnership to raise awareness about the adverse impact of tree cutting activities on the environment, and call upon the public to support the ministry by planting at least 1 tree every national tree planting day for the next 5 years.

While addressing the public in Gulu after receiving the pledge, to the state Minister for Environment, Hon Beatrice Atim Anywar said, “The rate of deforestation in Uganda is high and the country will soon be water-stressed if citizens do not pay due attention to environmental management. Kudos to the organizations that have today pledged to conserve the environment. All other organizations ought to take up tree planting as a priority to manage the current climate change challenges,” Hon Anywar said.

He noted that planting new trees isn’t only essential in the fight against deforestation and to ensure that Uganda’s abundantly diverse wildlife has a habitat, it’s also crucial for the health of the citizens and country; more trees on the planet means more carbon being removed from the atmosphere and a more stable climate.

Speaking during the event, Uganda Breweries Managing Director Alvin Mbugua expressed gratitude to all the participants in the relay.

“Uganda has over 40 million people. If each of us helped to plant and look after at least one tree, we would have planted 40 million trees or about; a big contribution to increasing forest cover and combating climate change,” Mbugua noted.

The Gulu district LC1 chairman, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi encouraged everyone to support the government to protect the environment and reforest for the benefit of future generations. He also called for greater awareness and education in the region about protecting forests.


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