Hundreds Brave Rain to Participate in Run to Green Schools

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Hundreds of youths including primary, secondary and university students together with different categories of leaders on Sunday September 24, 2023 braved the morning rain as they participated in the pioneer Run to Green Schools Marathon.

Organized by the Funga Pengo Development Initiative Africa in conjunction with the youth leaders from Mukono Municipality and Mukono district, Lauben Ssenyonjo, one of the event organisers said that they intended to mobilize funds to enable them buy at least 10,000 tree seedlings to be planted in different schools all over Mukono district.

The well attended run, which included two categories of five kilometres and ten kilometres, was dominated by school going children and Uganda Christian University (UCU) students.

George Fred Kagimu, the former mayor Mukono Municipality handing over the medal to UCU’s Frank Okello who won the 10km race.

UCU students conquered when it came to the 10km race whereby at least five out of the first ten winners were from UCU. They took four of the first positions and the tenth.

Ssenyonjo declared the 10km winners as; Frank Okello, James Muyoda, Edward Mukasa and Innocent Ayeko all from UCU.

In the fifth position, Ahmed Ssebwogi of St. John’s Senior School Kauga, James Okiror from St. Peter’s Senior School, Henry Matovu, a mere resident of Mulago Cell in Mukono Central Division, Shafic Kyaddondo of St. John’s Senior School Kauga and Meddy Kirunda in the 10th position from UCU again.

Ssenyonjo said that the five Kilometre race has been won by Johnson Kyakoonye of Panorama Senior School, followed by; Habibah Namagambo from St. Peter’s Senior School, Francis Kirabira from St. Peter’s Senior School and Robert Kyokwijukye from St. John’s Senior School Kauga. Mercy Nasiche of Bishop East Primary School emerged the youngest athlete whereas Paul Ssempeebwa has been declared the oldest participant.

Betty Nakasi (left) the Mukono district speaker celebrating the winners.

He asked the youth to claim the lead position in the fight against environment degradation saying it’s their obligation to jealously guard and protect the remaining forests, wetlands and swamps because the future generation belongs to them other than their parents and grandparents.

“We are going through a lot of disasters including prolonged drought, floods, and landslides among others. If we don’t wake up from slumber and start reclaiming our positions in the fight for the environment, we are likely to die in a very dangerous manner,” Ssenyonjo warned.

According to Mukono district speaker Betty Nakasi, the district already passed the resolution to plant one million trees in schools and other public places all over the district.

Nakasi however said that due to hardships in receiving finances, the resolution had not been considered yet. She promised that come the next quarter, they are likely to kick-start following the rainy season which has just commenced.

From left, Allan Mawanda, the Mukono Central Division speaker, former mayor Mukono Municipality, Fred Kagimu and Lauben Ssenyonjo (right).

Mukono Central Division speaker, Allan Mawanda has called upon National Forestry Authority (NFA) to stop acting with double standards whereby the very people who are mandated in the law to protect the forests, they are again giving them out to wealthy businessmen, who cut the natural trees and plant eucalyptus trees which are harvested annually.

“I am wondering whether the eucalyptus trees work in protecting the environment better than the natural trees which take over 20-50 years before harvesting,” he added.

George Fred Kagimu, the former mayor of Mukono Municipality, asked the children to actively engage themselves in the planting of trees at their schools or homes.

The participants jogging.

The participating schools included; St. Stephen’s Senior School Ddandira-Mukono, Panorama Senior School, Bishop East Primary School, St. John’s High School Kauga, St. Peter’s Mixed Senior School Kirangira, Mukono Town Muslim Primary School, among others.

The winners of the two categories of the marathon including the 5kms and 10kms were awarded with medals and an unidentified amount of money per winner.

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