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    National

    Tom Obong Okello's Legacy: Transforming Uganda's Forestry Sector

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    Tom Obong Okello's Legacy: Transforming Uganda's Forestry Sector
    • June 29, 2024 • 22 days ago
    in summary
    Tom Obong Okello concluded his six-year tenure as Executive Director of the National Forestry Authority (NFA), significantly increasing Uganda's forest cover and enhancing stakeholder collaboration and staff welfare. Minister Sam Cheptoris praised Okellos dedication and urged civil servants to emulate his result-oriented approach to public service.

    As Tom Obong Okello concludes his six-year tenure as Executive Director of the National Forestry Authority (NFA), Minister of Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris, commends his dedication and achievements, urging civil servants to emulate his result-oriented approach to public service.

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    The National Forestry Authority (NFA) recently bid farewell to its Executive Director, Tom Obong Okello, who completed a transformative six-year term.

    During a heartfelt ceremony, Minister of Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris, praised Okello’s dedication and urged other civil servants to be equally committed and result-oriented in their roles.

    “Tom Obong Okello’s tenure is a testament to what can be achieved with vision, dedication, and a focus on results,” said Cheptoris. “He has left an indelible mark on Uganda’s forestry sector, and I urge all civil servants to follow his example.”

    Okello joined the NFA in July 2018 with a clear vision: to improve forest reserve management, tackle illegal activities, garner stakeholder support, boost tree planting efforts, and enhance staff welfare. Under his leadership, the NFA saw a significant increase in forest cover, from 9.9% in 2017 to 12.4%.

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    This achievement is particularly noteworthy in the context of global environmental challenges and the pressing need for sustainable forest management.

    Key to this success was the establishment of 6,766 hectares of new plantations by the NFA, alongside an impressive 75,410 hectares planted by private tree farmers.

    Additionally, the NFA distributed 126,339,704 seedlings to the public, fostering community involvement in reforestation efforts.Reflecting on his tenure, Okello expressed pride in the strides made by the NFA.

    “When I joined the NFA, I was determined to make a tangible difference. Seeing the increase in forest cover and the active participation of communities in our initiatives has been incredibly rewarding,” Okello said. “It’s a collective achievement that showcases the power of collaboration and sustained effort.”

    Okello’s approach to addressing illegal activities in forest reserves also drew commendation. By strengthening surveillance and enforcement, the NFA significantly curbed illegal logging and other detrimental activities.

    His efforts in this area were bolstered by enhanced stakeholder engagement, ensuring that local communities, private sector partners, and government agencies worked together towards common goals.

    “Illegal activities in our forests have long been a challenge, but through concerted efforts and community involvement, we have made significant progress,” Okello remarked. “The fight is far from over, but the foundations we have laid are strong.”Minister Cheptoris highlighted Okello’s focus on staff welfare as another crucial aspect of his legacy. “

    A motivated and well-supported workforce is essential for any organization’s success. Tom understood this and worked tirelessly to improve conditions for NFA staff,” Cheptoris noted.

    As Okello signs off, the NFA is poised to continue building on his achievements. His tenure serves as a benchmark for effective leadership in Uganda’s public sector, demonstrating the profound impact of dedication and strategic vision.

    “Tom’s legacy will inspire future leaders in the NFA and beyond,” said Cheptoris. “His commitment to Uganda’s forests and the people who depend on them is a shining example of public service at its best.”

    The ceremony concluded with heartfelt tributes from colleagues and stakeholders, all echoing a common sentiment.

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     Tom Obong Okello’s tenure at the NFA has set a high standard, leaving an enduring legacy of positive change in Uganda’s forestry sector.

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