The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, has warned that Uganda risks becoming a desert if people do not plant trees.
The Archbishop sounded this warning while leading a service organised by the Parliament Anglican Chaplaincy to mark the start of Lent on Wednesday, 14th February 2018.
Ntagali said that Uganda is going to become a desert and urged the Members of Parliament to inform the public about the need for afforestation.
“We need to be a friend of the environment so that we get more rains and therefore, get more food,” he said.
He cited a scenario in Kanungu where people planted trees and later cut them down because they alleged that these were draining their streams of water.
“There is need to educate the masses on the usefulness of the trees and how the ecosystem works,” he added.
On the issue of church leaders getting involved in politics, the Archbishop said that these leaders do so as part of the divine calling.
“God speaks through his people. When you hear the church making some statements, how do you know that those are not prophetic statements?” Ntagali wondered.
The archbishop reiterated that the church will continue speaking about politics because all leaders must be accountable.
“Why should you say that a man of God should not discuss politics? I encourage those who say so to go back and study what politics is,” he added.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, concurred with the Archbishop on the need to conserve and protect the environment saying that Parliament is actively involved in tree planting.
“In April, all MPs will get seedlings that they will plant in their areas. We have only eight percent forest cover; we are endangered. Let us use all occasions to plant trees,” she said.
The Ash Wednesday service was attended by Ministers, Members and staff of Parliament.
The day marks the beginning of Lent, when Christians commit to fasting, as well as giving up certain luxuries in order to replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s journey into the desert for 40 days.