Bunyoro Kingdom Joins Campaign To Save Forests

2721 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Bunyoro Kitara officials have teamed up with forestry authorities in the kingdom to fight against efforts against deforestation.

Bunyoro Kitara officials have teamed up with forestry authorities in the kingdom to fight against efforts against deforestation.

A team headed by the kingdom’s forestry officer Joseph Twegonze has already been instituted to carry out routine forest patrols and mount roadblocks to impound illegally cut timber and hand it over to the relevant authorities.

The Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru inaugurated his team on Monday evening at his Karuzika Palace in Hoima town. The king was meeting National Forestry Authority officials, the police and district councilors to work out modalities of this joint operation.

The Omukama expressed concern over the continued depletion of forest reserves in the kingdom through timber cutting and charcoal burning. Iguru said this was responsible for the unpredictable climatic changes asking that efforts must be scaled up to control this.

He asked the forestry officials to have all those depleting forests arrested and prosecuted.

Yolamu Nsamba, the Omukama’s principal private secretary, says the king is a trustee of all natural resources in his kingdom including natural forests. Nsamba says with the ongoing oil exploration activities in the region there is need for more forests to absorb the oil carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

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Robert Owinyi, the National Forestry Authority Kisindi sector Manager, welcomes the kingdom’s initiative and pledges good working relations. Owinyi, however, urges the kingdom team to be mindful of the law.

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In a press release two weeks ago, the minister of water and environment Maria Mutagamba instituted a ban on any timber harvesting activities in some areas including Hoima, Masindi and Kibaale due to the high level of the forest cover loss in those districts.

In Bunyoro, forests that have been severely depleted include Bugoma, Bujawe, Wambabya and Kagombe among others.

National Forestry Authority blames this on the massive tree-felling for timber and charcoal and the need for land for agriculture.