Katakwi District Bans Charcoal Trade

1799 Views Katakwi, Uganda

In short
Every day, more than 10 trucks loaded with more than 150 charcoal bags each leaves Katakwi district to various destinations. Most of these are destined for Soroti, Mbale, Jinja, Lira and Kampala districts. A bag of charcoal costs between 15,000 and 25,000 Shillings in Katakwi.

Katakwi district has barred the burning and selling of charcoal as the eastern Uganda district moves to tame degradation of the environment.

Katakwi is a known source of charcoal for several districts across the country. The activity is mostly common in Ngariam, Ongongoja, Katakwi and Usuk including areas bordering Karamoja sub region.

Every day, more than 10 trucks loaded with more than 150 charcoal bags each leaves Katakwi district to various destinations. Most of these are destined for Soroti, Mbale, Jinja, Lira and Kampala districts. A bag of charcoal costs between 15,000 and 25,000 Shillings in Katakwi.

But authorities say that the activity is spelling doom for the district. As more trees are cut to sustain the charcoal industry, the landscape is becoming bare, worsened by a dry spell that has stressed the already shattered forest cover.

Katakwi district chairman Walter Elakas Okiring says the district council, with full backing from the office of the president;   has resolved to ban the business as one of the strategies to restore the forest cover.  He says they have also imposed a 60,000 Shillings fine for each lorry that will be intercepted transporting charcoal from Katakwi.
 
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He says the ban only prohibits transportation of charcoal outside Katakwi. However locals are still allowed to still use charcoal and firewood at a small scale.
 
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Katakwi becomes the second district after Soroti in Teso sub region to ban charcoal burning and trading in the recent months. The activity has also been banned in Arua, Gulu and Kitgum districts.

Vincent Edeu, a resident of Ngariam Sub County, welcomed the decision and appealed that law enforcement officers be deployed along major routes exiting the district in order to apprehend violators.
 

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.