Bidal Abraham has fled South Sudan three times. His most recent escape was in May 2018 when fighting broke out in his home town of Yei. He crossed the border with his pregnant wife and daughter and has settled on a small plot of land in Uganda’s northern West Nile region once covered in trees and bush, but now largely cleared for residential and agricultural use.
Uganda hosts 1.2 million refugees who have access to land where they can build a house and grow their own food.
With both refugees and the local Ugandan community using firewood for everyday needs like cooking, and hundreds of thousands of new refugees needing wood to build shelters, tension over natural resources was building.
While Bidal couldn’t do anything about the conflicts he left behind in South Sudan, he decided to become an advocate of tree planting in Uganda, spreading the word about the importance of preserving the environment everywhere he went.
UNHCR supports the establishment and operation of tree nurseries within settlements, as well as the distribution of seedlings to refugees and host communities. More than 1.1 million trees have been planted in four settlements in the West Nile region since 2017~UNHCR