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Agago Introduces Hefty Fines For Illegal Charcoal Dealers

According to Opio, owners of small trucks impounded with charcoal will be required to pay shillings 1.5 million while big lorries will pay shillings 3 million. while culprits apprehended transporting charcoal in trailer trucks will pay between shillings 5 and 10 million.
Bags of charcoal piled along the road side in Lokole Subcounty in Agago District some few meters from Orok Bridge were a lorry trasporting them over turned Last week september 16.

Audio 1

The Agago District Executive committee has resolved to introduce hefty fines to be levied on businessmen involved in commercial production and sale of charcoal.

The resolution comes at a time the district is witnessing increased commercial charcoal production despite a ban on illicit charcoal trade instituted in March this year.

District leaders report that the rising charcoal trade being conducted by mostly businessmen from central Uganda has seen a sharp decline in the forest covers in the sub-counties of Kuywee, Adilang, and Parabongo.

Leonard Ojok Opio, Agago LCV Chairperson says that the introduction of the hefty fines seeks to deter the further escalation of commercial charcoal trade in the district.

Opio says the resolution arrived at by the district executive committee last week follows the persistent involvement of some charcoal traders contravening an earlier ban on the illicit trade. 

According to Opio, owners of small trucks impounded with charcoal will be required to pay shillings 1.5 million while big Lorries 3 million Shillings.  Culprits apprehended transporting charcoal in trailer trucks will pay between shillings 5 and 10 million. 

//cue in: “Any commercial transaction…

Cue out:…it’s so serious.”//

He says the fine won’t be applied to persons who carry few bags of charcoal for domestic use.

Opio however faulted security personnel in the district for allegedly conniving with commercial charcoal dealers who allow them safe passages despite the ban on illegal charcoal trade.

Samuel Nyeko, Agago District Principal Assistant Secretary says the district has also reinstated revenue collection at the sub-county levels to deter the charcoal business.

In March this year, during a full council meeting, councillors unanimously resolved the ban on revenue collection at various checkpoints in the sub-county and town council arguing that it was promoting illegal charcoal trade.

Each commercial charcoal trader had been paying shillings 500,000 at the sub-county and another shillings 500,000 at the district for obtaining a transport permit.

Nyeko also noted that with the reinstatement of the revenue collection, the sub-county officials will be expected to remit 35 percent to the district while they retain 65 percent of the revenue collected.