Clan chiefs in Agago have confiscated more than 1,000 sacks of charcoal in an operation to rid the area of illegal commercial charcoal traders. The sacks of charcoal were impounded on Wednesday from Bulayita Village, Labwa parish in Adilang sub-county.
The clan chiefs revived their operation against charcoal traders in Agago after the Prime Minister of the Acholi cultural institution in April wrote a letter supplementing the ban on charcoal trade, as well as supporting campaigns being spearheaded by political leaders to curb the trade.Rwot Kassimiro Ongom, the Chief of Patongo Clan, said the sacks of charcoal are still in the bushes, while others have been set ablaze. Ongom revealed that they also found bundles of marijuana that he suspected are being used by the charcoal makers, several tents, and an unspecified number of charcoal makers in the bushes.
He appealed to the government and other development partners to join hands in not only fighting environmental crime but an impending problem that could be brought about by use of the illegal substances.
Rwot Thomas Ocen Lakidi the clan chief of Paimol condemned the massive cutting of indigenous tree species for charcoal and urged the leaders to sensitize the community on preserving these trees and planting the fast-maturing ones for charcoal and timber.
Nelson Ojok, the chairperson LCII Chairperson of Labwa Parish, Adilang sub-county said the illegal charcoal trade is being fueled by people who own huge chunks of land and are unable to use them optimally.
Ojok commended the clan chiefs for their attempts to curb massive tree-cutting, adding that they will join hands and start moving into the forests to confiscate all the charcoal and do all they can to ensure that the destructive trade stops.
Richard Musana, a charcoal dealer, accused the local leaders and local communities of collecting money from the charcoal traders, without giving them instructions on which trees should or should not be cut. Musana appealed to the government to sensitize the leaders and community on environmental matters so that the problem is solved in a shorter time.
The clan chiefs started their operation last weekend, from Adilang sub-county, where they identified approximately 500 illegal charcoal dealers, more than 100 tents, and at least 50 tons of abandoned wood piled to be turned into charcoal.
Adilang and Parabongo sub-counties have been identified as the hotspots of the illegal charcoal trade, where at least 100 trees are cut daily to feed businesses-URN (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 041 4674611 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).