Community Capacity Building / Solar and Tree Planting

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Community Capacity Building / Solar and Tree Planting


[caption id=“attachment_418” align=“alignright” width=“150”] Training Tree Planting[/caption]


Forests and woodlands are estimated to have covered about 10,800,000 ha (45%) of Uganda’s surface area in around 1890. Since then the size of the forest estate has drastically shrunk. Over the years the forests have been gradually cleared and today estimates indicate reduction to about 730,000 ha which is only (3%) of Uganda’s area

Access to electricity in Uganda is limited for most of the population. The Ugandan census of 2002 reported that 7.7% of households used electricity for lighting (37% of urban households and 2.6% of rural households) this was up from 5.6% in 1991. In contrast, 74.8% of households (33.3% of urban and 88.2% of rural) were using “tadooba”, a form of paraffin candle, for lighting

JEEP in partnership with the Nordic folkecenter for Renewable energy in Denmarkfunded by Danish NGO Project Fund entered into a 3 year contract to implement the solar tree planting Project in 7 districts of Uganda. The districts include Kalangala, Mukono, Arua, Tororo, Amuria, Lira and Luwero.

The project’s immediate objectives include

  • By project completion Ugandan farmers living in 14 Ugandan villages throughout 7 districts will have knowledge in tree planting and will start new local nurseries and wood lots
  • By project completion, Ugandan farmers living in villages through out the 7 districts will have knowledge about solar energy, including on how solar can improve on their livelihoods, how it is purchased, installed and maintained
  • By project completion, Ugandan farmers living in villages through out the 7 districts  will have knowledge about money management  and learn about opportunities to micro finance or fund raise, and  how that can be achieved through tree planting.

Solar Training


News by June 2013

Follow Up in Kalangala District : Tree Planting & Solar project

During the first week of June 2013 JEEP staff conducted follow up in Kalangala district on solar systems in two primary schools. The general feedback was very positive: Solar systems  are working well and maintained**.**

Besides that, follow up was also done on wood lot planters, Some wood lots are looking health and the trees have grown so first only that they need to be weeded.

On 22nd/05/2013 a team of JEEP staff conducted a follow up activity on Tree planting and solar project in Wabutungulu Luwero district.

Both the solar systems in schools are fine and they were advised to always keep some money aside every term to cover some costs like bulb replacements if one is faulty.

Some of trees planted are looking good while other are left in bushes. Two woodlot planters were advised to do weeding in their woodlots; others were encouraged to avoid grazing animals in wood lots because they will destroy trees.

News by May 2013

Follow Up in Luwero District : Tree Planting & Solar project

On 22nd/05/2013 a team of JEEP staff conducted a follow up activity on Tree planting and solar project in Wabutungulu Luwero district.

Both the solar systems in schools are fine and they were advised to always keep some money aside every term to cover some costs like bulb replacements if one is faulty.

Some of trees planted are looking good while other are left in bushes. Two woodlot planters were advised to do weeding in their woodlots; others were encouraged to avoid grazing animals in woodlots because they will destroy trees.

Land wrangles have hindered most of the people in Wabutungulu from planting woodlots since most of them are Tenants occupying a private land. Land lords are taking part of land occupied by tenants thus living Tenants with very small piece of land which seems not enough for tree planting. They were advised to plant trees on boundaries.

Some people had planted trees but they were being attacked by pests like termites which have demoralized woodlot planters, however they were advised to apply termite resistant pesticides.


News by April 2013

Follow Up in Tororo and Amuria : Tree Planting & Solar project

From April 22nd until April 25th JEEP staff went on a field trip for the Tree & Solar Project funded by the Danish Folkecenter for Renewable Energy. Me and my fellow-volunteer Miriam went along on that trip to Tororo and Amuria District.

The objective of the trip was following up on several solar installations in schools, health center and checking on many different tree nurseries run by local residents. Also, we were able to take a look at the region around Tororo and Soroti, connecting with the local people managing tree nurseries, who were very nice and open minded. As for the schools, we were able to take a look at the solar installations at schools which are fine.

Solar Refrigerator: This solar Refrigerator is at Amusus health centre iii in Amuria district. It has been in use since 2011 when JEEP installed it with five lighting bulbs under Tree planting and Solar Project.Community members have benefited a lot from this solar Refrigerator.

News by March 2013

Local electricians training – 20th March 2013

JEEP has finalized the training of new solar local electricians from 3 districts. These districts include Arua, Amuria and Kasese. The participants were introduced to solar energy as well as management and maintenance of these systems. Emphasis was placed on the role of the local electricians to manage and maintain the solar systems at their respective schools

The workshop was opened by Ruth N Kiwanuka the CEO who emphasized the role of local electricians in ensuring the sustainability of the solar systems.

The training course was conducted by the JEEP engineer and information officer. The topics covered included introduction to solar energy, management and maintenance of solar systems, trouble shooting, Dos and Don’ts and the roles of local electricians. Practical demonstrations were used to enable participants better understand topics that were discussed. Hand outs were given to participants to enable them read further about solar energy

Participants were given tool boxes to enable then carry out the assigned tasks


Refresher Course for District Contact persons

JEEP conducted a refresher training of Contact persons on 13th/03/2013. They received training on financial management, record keeping, profit & loss, income &expenditure, savings, costing & pricing, selling on credit and how to make business successful in the Tree & Solar planting project and other projects of JEEP.

They were encouraged to perform to their best in regards to their roles as contact person which are;

  • Educating the people about JEEP activities,
  •  The importance why everybody should implement.
  •  Monitoring of JEEP project progress and the need to communicate to JEEP.
  • Be innovative to improve on what you have already.
  • Keep records and help where necessary.
  • Always be informed so as to share all with JEEP.
  • Use all avenues to educate people in your area about JEEP activities and be an example to them.


At the end of this training, Contact persons requested for permission from JEEP to go for  talk shows at their  Local radios since most of the areas now have local radios. Some  participants have been invited already to talk about JEEP activities.

This permission was granted and they were equipped with all the necessary  information to be passed on to the listeners.


News by March 2013

Tree nursery attendants from seven districts under Tree Solar project received training at JEEP folkecenter from 06th to 07th /03/2013. JEEP trained them about different  topics which included; Site selection of a nursery, Timing, Diseases and pest control, Labelling, Knowing the species, Preferred species, Grafting, Budding, Pruning, Objectives of seed procurement, Seed collection selection.


Practicals sessions were also given attention to strengthen these topics to participants.

Practicals on grafting

                                                            A participant  budding an orange tree

Participants shared their experiences about nursery management with their fellow participants. Those who had successful stories encouraged others who had some challenges with nurseries to perform to their best.

A participant from Tororo sharing experience

A total of 15 nursery attendants from Luwero, Mukono, Kalangala, Tororo, Amuria, Lila and Arua.

Participants being demonstrated how to trap pests

At the end of the training, participants received seeds of different species which included; Seeds of Teak, Eucalyptus, Pine, Grevellia, Albezia and Giant Lira.

News by February 2013

14 Tree nursery beds are still on board. Many trees have been planted in Amuria, Tororo, Arua, Lira, Mukono, Luwero and Kalangala, and some are growing big already.

In Tororo alone 2498 seedlings were given out to 94 different people in 2012, and a few wood lots of app. 600 trees are planted elsewhere.

On top of the 12 schools and 1 health clinic supplied with very basic solar systems another 15 schools were given by Merkur Bank in Denmark. Many small lamps distributed by Energy North helped the target areas to be exposed to solar.

At the clinic in Amusus in Amuria 54 young children are immunized every week.

Schools getting solar in 2011 have started seeing results. During pre visits in 2011 the number of students in 12 schools was 3.290 and the figure is by the end of 2012 3.804. Parents want schools with light for home work. Some of these rural schools are now proud of their 1st and 2nd grades and no failures. Something they have never experienced in the past.

2013 will be a year of introduction to micro finance, follow-up and final reports.


News by August 2012

The Nordic Folkecenter for renewable energy working in partnership with Joint Energy and Environment Projects (JEEP) has continued to support the implementation of the solar and tree planting project in the selected 7 districts of Uganda.

During this period, JEEP conducted a follow up on the tree nursery leaders and solar systems to continue encouraging nursery leaders by giving them on spot advice and further training and remind them of the project objectives to be attained and to follow up on the solar systems to assess how the systems are benefiting the schools, fix technical problems if any and advice on the management and use of the systems.

The exercise involved observations, interviews and discussions with farmers as a tool for relevant data collection and on spot correction of mistakes.

During this exercise, it was observed that tree nursery attendants had continued giving out tree seedlings to farmers. Some challenges were observed and farmers were advised accordingly. The most notable challenges were the long drought spells which affected the availability of water for the seedlings, some seedlings failing to germinate and lack of enough seedlings for all.

It was also observed that farmers had resorted to growing seedlings during the wet season because of the availability of water. However, farmers were advised to grow seedlings during the dry season so that they are ready to plant out when the rains come. Farmers were also advised to intensify watering of the gardens during the dry season to increase the germination rate of seedlings and also reduce the death rate of plants.

It was also observed that farmers had planted out the trees got from the nurseries. Below is a case from the follow up results from Mr. Agopa, a tree nursery leader from Tororo

From the follow results of Mr. Agopa, it was observed that from his follow ups, of all the seedlings he distributed to beneficiaries, 2,308 seedlings survived while 452 died in the garden. 2 farmers have so far planted woodlots of 500 trees each and he had 340 seedlings still in the nursery

During the follow up, all the Thirteen (13) solar installations were visited. It was observed that most of the systems were working. However, most systems had experienced a problem with bulbs. These broke more often than expected. The problem was however resolved with the supplier and all broken bulbs have since then been replaced. It was also observed that the some of the bulbs and 1 switch at Alito SS had been broken by the students. After the follow up, the school management repaired the system and the system is working well.