Kyaninga Forest Foundation (KFF) was set-up in 2010 initially to help local communities living near Lake Kyaninga and the surrounding Kyaninga Forest find ways to deal with the ever-increasing demand for natural resources such as firewood. Through this community-based work the urgent need for a wider intervention was identified and KFF attained NGO status in 2017 to address these issues.
Uganda is roughly the size of Germany and has a population rapidly approaching 50 million people. Since 1990, more than 2.5 million hectares of forest have been cut down or replaced with exotic, sterile woodlots of eucalyptus or pine. These cannot be classed as forests as they are monocultures with extremely limited biodiversity, often causing negative ecological impacts and providing very little in terms of ecosystem services.
This problem is further confounded by the fact that over 90% of the population use firewood or charcoal to cook. This could be seen as a massive environmental burden, but we try to utilise this strong relationship and dependence on natural resources as a tool to raise awareness on agroforestry practices, highlighting the benefits of better management whilst making clear that nature’s resources are only infinite if sustainably utilised.
As of 2021, we have planted more than 60,000 trees across Kabarole District and expanded our central nursery to hold more than 20,000 seedlings. This has led to a dramatic increase in the abundance and biodiversity of many birds, primates, insects and lizards in Kyaninga Forest and seen a huge increase in the adoption of agroforestry practices. Similarly, the distribution of trees to local communities has helped reduce the pressure on the remaining forest.
However, the Ugandan population continues to rise at an alarming rate and therefore the need to create sustainable sources of energy and transfer knowledge on climate-smart agricultural practices has become ever more urgent. To address this KFF is now working with communities across Kabarole District, Kamwenge District, Kyenjoyo District and Bundibugyo District in Western Uganda, helping to identify sustainable methods to provide for future generations, whilst maintaining intact and stable ecosystems.