The Nakasongola charcoal producers and dealers have protested the move by the district environmental officers to introduce an ordinance that will regulate cutting of trees for charcoal production.
The Nakasongola charcoal producers and dealers are protesting a move by the district environmental officers to introduce an ordinance that will regulate tree cutting for charcoal production.
Under the new proposed ordinance, it will be illegal to cut specific valuable tree species and tree cutting zones will be gazetted to give time trees to regenerate. It will also be illegal to cut immature trees and charcoal dealers will pay taxes to the district.
James Kunobera, the district environment officer, siad on Tuesday that 90% of the local tree species that include Combretum, Albizia, Tarmarimudus, have been cut down for charcoal.
Kunobera says that the district is suffering severe effects of deforestation ranging from unpredictable drought and famine, respiratory diseases, and land degradation.
But the producers and dealers have protested the ordinance claiming that it would render them jobless and poorer.
Robert Kabanda, a charcoal producer in Kakooge Sub County says that the district should first devise other source of living before it implement the ordinance.
He explains that many residents are poor and charcoal burning is their source of income which when restricted could lead to unemployment and cause insecurity in the area.
Another charcoal dealer Joshua Mukonyi of Nakasongola town council says that the intended taxation without any service by the district is unacceptable and exploitative.
Mukonyi also says that the district should introduce projects that will employ the poor youths before their sources of income are regulated.
Nakasongola district residents majorly involve in charcoal burning, fishing, and pastoralism.
According to 2002 census report Nakasongola was ranked as the poorest district in central Uganda and the subsequent National Environmental Management Authority report of 2008 indicated that there was no improvement to shift the curve
environment degradation abject poverty