Soroti Embarks on Campaign Against Indiscriminate Tree Cutting

2739 Views Soroti, Uganda

In short
Simon Peter Edoru, the Soroti District LC V Vice Chairperson, says village officials have been directed to be on the lookout for any person involved in charcoal burning.

Soroti district has embarked on a community campaign to step the indiscriminate cutting of trees. 

Charcoal burning and selling wood fuel are the main stay activities of people in Arapai, Katine, Gweri, Asuret and Kamuda sub counties.

This has fueled tree cutting, prompting the district to launch a campaign to combat the vice. The campaign is being implemented by the district in collaboration with Sub County and local village officials.

Under the campaign, local officials visit various communities in their area to sensitise them on the dangers of cutting trees for firewood and charcoal burning. They also encourage residents to plant more trees for environmental protection.

Simon Peter Edoru, the Soroti District LC V Vice Chairperson, says village officials have been directed to be on the lookout for any person involved in charcoal burning.

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According to Edoru, the culprits will be prosecuted in line with chapter 153 section 11 (7) of the National Environmental Act, which prohibits cutting of trees and provides for the management of forests.

Benjamin Ajotu, the Soroti District Environment Officer is optimistic that the latest campaign will boost the fight against the destruction of natural resources in the area. He says the past initiatives failed due to lack of a supportive environmental protection ordinance. 

Stephen Olebe, the speaker Soroti district council, says they have initiated a process to enact an environmental protection ordinance. He believes the ordinance will boost the campaign once passed into law. Rose Tino, the Soroti District Community Services Chairperson has cautioned residents against environmental destruction, saying it is responsible for the prolonged drought that is ravaging the region.

54-year-old Joseph Egadu, a resident of Katine Sub County, says charcoal burning is the only source of his livelihood. According to Egadu, he only cut the trees he planted around his home for charcoal burning.

Josephine Amongin, a resident of Soroti Sub County wants the authorities to be considerate since majority of the people use firewood for cooking. Currently, a bag of charcoal costs between Shillings 40,000 and 45,000 depending on the quality. A bunch of assorted firewood costs between 10,000 and 15,000 Shillings. 


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.