Uganda Breweries Limited unveiled 33 runners that will participate in the 330-km long relay from Kampala to Gulu today Friday, February 7th and Saturday, February 8th, 2020.
This relay forms part of the “Running out of Trees (ROOT)” campaign by Uganda Breweries Limited in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Environment that is aimed at raising awareness about the adverse impact of tree cutting activities on the environment and calls upon the public to plant at least one tree a year for 5 years.
The Kampala-Gulu run is symbolic of the pace at which Uganda as a country is literally running out of trees.
The 2-day relay will feature 33 main runners each covering 10 km carrying and passing on a commitment for the private sector to be at the forefront of driving efforts of rehabilitating our lost tree cover. Each of the runners will be flanked by a number of pacesetters.
More specifically, these will include the Kampala Hash House Harriers (Hash runners) who will be joined by a number of Managing Directors from corporate companies like UBL’s Managing Director Alvin Mbugua, Robert Kabushenga the Managing Director Vision Group and Sarah Arapta, Managing Director Citi Bank Uganda among others.
Speaking during the unveiling, Uganda Breweries Managing Director Alvin Mbugua said, “National Forestry Authority statistics show that Uganda had by 2015 lost 2.4 million hectares of forest cover in a span of 25 years, with the total forest land area in 2015 standing at 38% from 68% in 1990 – that’s an average loss of 122,000 hectares per year. In an effort to restore our forest cover, Uganda Breweries launched the Running Out of Trees initiative that seeks to rally Corporate Companies to come together and respond to the growing concern of deforestation in the country.”
“We as corporate entities, contribute to forest depletion in one way or the other therefore it is our responsibility to replace forest cover that has been lost. It is only by working together that we will make the necessary progress on our journey towards achieving a sustainable environment.” He added.
He noted that the Kampala – Gulu road has been selected for the 2020 ROOT relay because statistics show that it is the area that has been worst affected by deforestation in the country.
Commenting on why they chose these runners, Mbugua said they involved the hash runners as they are professional racers who are fit to run long distances having done similar ones before.
The ROOT Relay will over the next 4 years take a different side of the country as going forward, it will be held annually to remind the public of their role in planting at least one tree in that calendar year!