WALA Women Group Community Tree planting Approach [Uganda]

approaches_2767 - Uganda

Completeness: 94%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

land user:

Orach Alice



Omolo District

land user:

Orach Alice

Omolo district

Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Scaling-up SLM practices by smallholder farmers (IFAD)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
CDE Centre for Development and Environment (CDE Centre for Development and Environment) - Switzerland

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?


The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Reference(s) to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Technologies

Pine Woodlot

Pine Woodlot [Uganda]

A Woodlot of Pine (Pinus caribaea) is a fast growing, tolerant tree based plantation established to address land cover depletion, soil fertility loss and soil erosion control.

  • Compiler: Kamugisha Rick Nelson

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

A sustainable tree planting group approach involving thirty seven women to serve the most vulnerable community for sustainable development.

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

WALA community tree planting group is an association of 37 women initiated in 2005 and supported by Small Production Grants Scheme since 2006. The group was linked to Saw log production scheme Grant (SPGS) by National Forestry Authority (NFA) who have supported 37 women with tree seedlings, forest tools which include lining out ropes and cross head, pruning saws, thinning ropes, paint and paint brushes and tape measure to support tree planting. WALA, SPGS with partners first developed guidelines (constitution) spelling out the how to establish, manage tree plantations including marketing products for value addition which highlights that : (1) Prospective beneficiaries must be organised community groups or organizations of minimum of 37 members with a leadership committee (2) Should be located within the same Local Council 1 or village (3) Each member should own up a 0.20 ha and max 4 ha dedicated to tree planting, (4) Group must submit a letter expressing interest to access support for tree seedlings to the SPGS project manager with a copied to Food Agricultural Organization Representative in Uganda (5) A list of members with each member seedlings requirements per year must be endorsed by Local council 1 Chairman where proof of ownership of land may be attached with a legal entity with copies of legal documents attached and (6) The community should have willingness and ability to maintain the guidelines: The executive committee organise community plantation planning meetings, trainings and exchange visits to empower them to mobilize resources for environmental conservation . Up to now the group has received 170,000 seedlings, 10 acres of land, 30 hoes and spades, 100 Lining up ropes (2) cross head (2) pruning saws (15) Paint (5 litre) Paint brushes (10) and Tape Measure (1) received by the group kept by the group treasurer. Benefits linked to this approach include presence of the leadership committee supported by the constitution to guide the group activities on site trainings, farmer-to-farmer learning, demonstration plots, access to information and decision support on commercial forest plantation establishment; sale of products as well as environmental services has enabled the group to extend its networks and partnerships beyond SPGS

2.3 Photos of the Approach

2.4 Videos of the Approach

Comments, short description:

WALA community tree planting Approach.




Nwoya District

Name of videographer:

Issa Aliga

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied



Region/ State/ Province:

Northern Region,Uganda


2.76556, 32.36583

2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:


If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date when the Approach was initiated:

10-50 years ago


Hired land from NFA for 49 years.

2.7 Type of Approach

  • project/ programme based

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

Environmental conservation through tree planting, improve sawlog production, sustainable land utilization, and income.

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

social/ cultural/ religious norms and values
  • enabling

Involvement of chiefs and local leaders.

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • enabling

presence of women savings group.

institutional setting
  • enabling

Support by SPGS, Uganda Tree growers Association and NFA through seedlings provision, training's.

  • hindering

Poor enforcement of bylaws on free grazing.

collaboration/ coordination of actors
  • enabling

Presence of memorandum of understanding and presence of other growers.

  • hindering

Short term period of collaboration.

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • enabling

Land lease and existence of local level bylaws.

  • hindering

Poor enforcement with low fines.

  • enabling

Formulated using a bottom-top approach.

land governance (decision-making, implementation and enforcement)
  • enabling

Presence of bylaws.

  • hindering


knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • enabling

Have had training's in SLM.

  • hindering

Low adoption outside SPGS supported groups.

markets (to purchase inputs, sell products) and prices
  • enabling

Increased demand for tree products (timber).

  • hindering

Sell of raw products at low prices.

workload, availability of manpower
  • enabling

Trained by SPGS and other collaborators.

  • hindering

The groups members are old and those to inherit the group activities are not active.

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

Group members, Community

Implementation and use of the approach.

  • community-based organizations

Watemu Lapainat Agroforestry Association (WALA), Saving and Credit Organisation ( SACCO).

Savings and Credit training's, loans.

  • SLM specialists/ agricultural advisers

Small Production Grants Scheme (SPGS) ,National Forestry Authority (NFA), Uganda Tree Growers Association (UTA)


  • researchers

National Forestry Authority students.

Field work and data collection for publication.

  • teachers/ school children/ students

University students, primary and secondary teachers.

field work and support training's

  • NGO

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Uganda Timber Growers Association (UTGA)

Support training's.

  • local government

Councillors and Forestry officers.

Linkage to NGO's, training's and administrative guidance as well security.

  • national government (planners, decision-makers)

National Forestry Authority (NFA).

Planning and Commissioning.

  • international organization

Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO).


  • Cultural leaders

Chiefs and church leaders.

Visits and pray with them.

If several stakeholders were involved, indicate lead agency:

Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), National Forestry Authority (NFA)

3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation passive Groups members were willing to participate in group activities.
planning passive Group members planning process- members were not very active at the beginning- Lobbying for land.
implementation interactive Members participated in planting activities.
monitoring/ evaluation interactive Members National Forestry Authority (NFA), Small Production Grants Scheme (SPGS) both do joint monitoring with the group members.

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • all relevant actors, as part of a participatory approach

Started by raising seedlings from Action for Development (ACORD) support and then became motivated.

Specify on what basis decisions were made:
  • evaluation of well-documented SLM knowledge (evidence-based decision-making)

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?


Specify who was trained:
  • land users
If relevant, specify gender, age, status, ethnicity, etc.

Does not have the details

Form of training:
  • on-the-job
  • farmer-to-farmer
  • demonstration areas
  • public meetings
Subjects covered:

Saw log production, benefits of tree growing and how to Market logs.

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?


Specify whether advisory service is provided:
  • on land users' fields
Describe/ comments:

It is very useful because it reduces the costs of transport.
The training is hands on and practical.

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, greatly
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
Specify type of support:
  • financial
  • capacity building/ training
  • equipment
  • Seedlings
Give further details:

170,000 seedlings, 10 acres of land tools and materials: Lining up ropes (2) cross head (2) prunning saws (15) Paint (5 litre) Paint brushes (10) and Tape Measure (1).

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?



The monitoring is on going as the group activities are implemented.

If yes, is this documentation intended to be used for monitoring and evaluation?



The findings will be used to know how the group is performing in environmental conservation.

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?


Specify topics:
  • sociology
  • economics / marketing
  • ecology
  • technology
  • policy
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

University students, NFA and SPGS.

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • < 2,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):


5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?


If yes, specify type(s) of support, conditions, and provider(s):

Funds for thinning, Sawlog given to groups by SPGS.

5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

  • equipment
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
Thinning, saw-pegs , girth tapes
  • agricultural
Specify which inputs were subsidised To which extent Specify subsidies
Seedlings fully financed
If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • voluntary

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?


Specify conditions (interest rate, payback, etc.):

In form seedlings and equipment.

Specify credit providers:


Specify credit receivers:


5.5 Other incentives or instruments

Were other incentives or instruments used to promote implementation of SLM Technologies?


If yes, specify:

Formulation and implementation of bylaws.
Exchange visits.

6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach empower local land users, improve stakeholder participation?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Capacities to work and make decisions in a group.

Did the Approach enable evidence-based decision-making?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Decisions made in groups on when to meet, plant, prune and thin.

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Incentives based (in form of trainings and seedlings).

Did the Approach improve coordination and cost-effective implementation of SLM?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Coordinated by the leadership committee. Strengthened working as a group.

Did the Approach mobilize/ improve access to financial resources for SLM implementation?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Transformed them selves into a savings and Credit organisation (SACCO) group.

Did the Approach improve knowledge and capacities of land users to implement SLM?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Access to technologies (seedlings), knowledge on planting, spacing and pruning and thinning.

Did the Approach improve knowledge and capacities of other stakeholders?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Especially farmers involved and partner's.

Did the Approach build/ strengthen institutions, collaboration between stakeholders?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Different partners participated and contributed to implementing the approach. Community bylaws and functioning committee.

Did the Approach mitigate conflicts?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Conflicts between WALA women group leaders and livestock owners (Free grazing on trees). Conflicts resolved using the group committee.

Did the Approach empower socially and economically disadvantaged groups?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Focus was not on well off women farmers but those who had interest in tree planting as a group.

Did the Approach improve gender equality and empower women and girls?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Involved and empowered women who constituted 100% of the group members.

Did the Approach encourage young people/ the next generation of land users to engage in SLM?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Those who belong to the households where members came from.

Did the Approach improve issues of land tenure/ user rights that hindered implementation of SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Focused more on training and production.

Did the Approach lead to improved food security/ improved nutrition?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Income from the sale of tree products was used for buying food.

Did the Approach improve access to markets?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Good quality tree products. Linkage done by SPGS.

Did the Approach lead to improved access to water and sanitation?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Based near the plantation.

Did the Approach improve the capacity of the land users to adapt to climate changes/ extremes and mitigate climate related disasters?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Carbon sequestration.

especially to seed suppliers and trainers

6.2 Main motivation of land users to implement SLM

  • increased production

wood products.

  • increased profit(ability), improved cost-benefit-ratio

long term benefits from timber products.

  • reduced land degradation

Carbon sink.

  • reduced risk of disasters

No hailstorm.

  • reduced workload

Yes, the plantation does not require more labourers.

  • payments/ subsidies

SPGS support, NFA.

  • rules and regulations (fines)/ enforcement

Rules and regulations exist among group members but enforcement is poor.

  • prestige, social pressure/ social cohesion

The group is united because of the constitution.

  • affiliation to movement/ project/ group/ networks

The group is linked to many organizations (National Agricultural Organisation (NARO), National Forestry Authority, Small Production Grants Scheme (SPGS), Uganda Timber Growers Association (UTGA) which provides support.

  • environmental consciousness

Done / participate through training's and workshops organized by partners but also hold their internal reflection meetings.

  • enhanced SLM knowledge and skills

Acquired through trainings facilitated by fellow group members and partners.

  • conflict mitigation

Normally done through their meetings with the help of the group committee.

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • yes
If yes, describe how:

The group is involved in selling thinned trees and the income obtained is used to manage the forest activities like fireline, weeding etc. the presence of an organised leadership. With better management skills to manage, the group will keep working very closely with the group . The presence of the group constitution helps manage the group affairs.

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
The approach is inclusive and involves all group members.
Income received from the thinned trees is used to facilitate group activities (meetings, workshops, stationery).
The approach is appreciated by neighbours who are not members of the group.
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
The approach is involving and allows full participation and equal decision making of all stakeholders.

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
If not managed well, it can escalate conflicts through encroachment. Need to put in place bylaws with strict punishments to encroaches. Strengthen bylaws.
High costs of chemicals.
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
promoted only by women. Involve men, youth and PWD's in implementing the approach.

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys


  • interviews with land users


7.3 Links to relevant information which is available online

Title/ description:

SPGS Tree Planting Guidelines for Uganda


Links and modules

Expand all Collapse all