NFA, Bunyoro Foresters Take Precautions To Guard Against Forest Fires

2220 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Private foresters in Bunyoro are taking precaution to guard their forests against fires this dry season. Forest fires have been a problem during the dry season affecting some private foresters and the National Forestry Authority (NFA).

Private foresters in Bunyoro are taking precaution to guard their forests against fires this dry season.
 
Forest fires have been a problem during the dry season affecting some private foresters and the National Forestry Authority (NFA).
 
For Instance National Forestry Authority Kisindi sector, which covers Hoima and Masindi districts, lost 340hectares of the forest cover to fires last season. Several private foresters also had part of their forests burnt.
 
Some private foresters have already had their forests burnt this season. Jackson Amanya, the Manager Kyahaiguru tree project in Hoima Municipality says part of his forest was burnt recently.
 
 
Aware of the dangerous fires during such a season, other private foresters are now taking precaution.
 
Robert Rukahemura, a private forester in Kyakatebe village Kiryanga Sub county Kibaale district, says he has already opened up fire lines around his 18 acre forest. He says he has also employed people to watch over the forest to guard against fire starting anywhere near the forest.
 
Having been a victim of fire last dry season which destroyed part of his forest, Rukahemura says he is extra vigilant to avoid a similar scenario this year.
 
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Joseph Asiimwe, a private forester from Munteme in Kiziranfumbi Sub County, Hoima district, says he has cleared all grass in his tree plantation and opened up fire lines around his 3 acre tree plantation. Asiimwe says when grass is left in the forest; it's easy for the forest to catch fire during such a dry season. Asiimwe has planted Pine and Eucalyptus trees. His forest is now one year old and he says fires are so destructive to such a young forest.
 
Unlike the past dry seasons, National Forestry Authority in Bunyoro has not reported any fire outbreaks so far. Stewart Maniraguha, the NFA Kisindi Sector Manager attributes this to routine forest patrols being carried out, as part of NFA's fire management campaign. He says fire lines have also been re-opened in some of the reserves to prevent easy fire spread.
 
Forest fires during dry seasons are always a result of reckless bush burning by hunters, herdsmen, farmers and honey hunters.
 
Last year eight honey hunters were arrested in connection with the burning of Bajaawe forest in Hoima district. According to NFA some fires are accidentally set by smokers, while others are deliberately set.