Charles Wabumba is living in Bumayoga, Bududa district, one of the districts that are involved in the 10 Million Trees project.
Not far from his home and farmland, a recent landslide has torn a big chunk through his community, taking 8 houses, farmland and cattle with it. These all too common landslides are a big part of the reason many more trees need to be planted in the areas around Mount Elgon. These trees will increase the soil’s stability and its nutrient retention.
Providing these hillside farmers with trees, especially fruit trees, also helps them as they can harvest avocado and bananas for selling, and have shade for their coffee plants that grow so well on these fertile hillsides.
Charles has been a bee farmer for over 30 years. He has over 100 beehives, before they were just in the Mount Elgon National Park but since the tree planting project came to Mbale and the surrounding districts, he has planted tree seedlings on his own land and now has hives in many of his trees. He farms over 14 acres of land with his brother.
Charles uses material from the trees after pruning to feed his animals and to provide fuel wood for cooking. He has planted many varieties of trees including some fruit trees such as avocado and trees that provide shade for his coffee plants.
He has 10 children, 5 girls and 5 boys. His farming has enabled him to send his 10 children to school, some are now even teachers.
When asked about his hopes for the community over next 5 years, Charles said:
“I can see that not even in 5 years, but in 3 years, I can see according to what this project is doing and the seedlings you are giving, I am anticipating a great change, a positive change.”
“I appreciate you people and the Welsh Government who have bought this project of tree planting that has really opened my eyes as far as the environment is concerned…I love you Welsh so much.”