Absa Bank Partners with KCCA to Plant 1 Million Trees in Kampala

KCCA Executive Director Dorothey Kisaka (front right) inspecting city roads recently

Kampala, Uganda I HABARI DAILY I In a significant move towards combating climate change and promoting environmental sustainability, Absa Bank Uganda has entered into a 3-year partnership with the Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) to plant up to 1 million trees in the city.

The momentous consortium was officially sealed at the Absa Head Office, with Mumba Kalifungwa, the Managing Director of Absa Bank Uganda, and Dorothy Kisaka, the KCCA Executive Director, signing on behalf of their respective organizations.

The partnership focuses on three major areas: Supporting Environmental Sustainability, Skilling of Women and Youth, and Behavioral Change Communication. Its primary goal is to address the depletion of the city’s green cover and the various adverse effects associated with it.

Kisaka highlighted the urgency of the initiative, stating, “Kampala, as the 13th fastest-growing city in the world, contributes significantly to Uganda’s industrial and commercial activities and drives over 65% of the national GDP. With a daytime population of approximately 4 million people, it is crucial to take immediate action to preserve and restore our green spaces.”

The collaboration also aligns with KCCA’s strategic plan to establish Kampala as a smart sustainable city, promoting an attractive and eco-friendly urban environment.

“We are appreciative of the initiatives under this partnership that will support our vision of a vibrant, attractive, and sustainable city,” said Kisaka. “With an urbanization rate exceeding 5% per year, the city’s green cover has rapidly diminished. Through this collaboration, we aim to significantly increase the city’s tree density, ensuring an impressive 80% survival rate for the newly planted trees in various municipalities.”

Furthermore, the joint efforts will contribute to empowering women and youth economically, and investing in communications that promote behavioral change towards the city’s smart city agenda.

Kalifungwa emphasized Absa Bank Uganda’s commitment to sustainability and its alignment with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “We have recognized the negative impact on the environment in which we operate, and as a responsible financial institution, we are dedicated to mitigating the effects of climate change and supporting the sustainable growth of Kampala’s population,” he stated.

He expressed the bank’s keenness to contribute actively to overcoming Uganda’s societal challenges, including economic development, job creation, quality education, and climate change resilience.

As part of this ambitious partnership, Absa Bank Uganda has set aggressive targets for tree planting over the next three years. By collaborating with KCCA, the bank aims to increase the number of indigenous trees, especially fruit trees, which have a higher chance of thriving within the community.

According to KCCA data, over 80% of the trees in the city are foreign species, leading to a low survival rate. By promoting the planting of indigenous trees, the consortium seeks to improve air quality, protect water sources from pollution, prevent soil erosion, and mitigate flooding in Kampala.

Kisaka emphasized that individual behavior change is vital in sustaining the environment and enhancing the quality of life for all residents. “We want this to become a collective responsibility to improve our city’s standards and quality of life. I commend Absa Bank for supporting our efforts in promoting behavior change for the betterment of our city,” she said.

With this groundbreaking partnership, Absa Bank Uganda and KCCA are taking bold strides in building a greener and more sustainable future for Kampala. The city’s residents can look forward to witnessing a flourishing urban environment, empowered communities, and a stronger commitment to combating climate change for years to come.

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