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NFA Under Fire Over Illegal Logging In Bugoma Forest

Stuart Maniraguha, the Budongo Range Manager, said the issue of illegal lumbering involves both residents and community members. He explains that CFM group leaders often over step their mandate by taking unlawful decisions.
A vehicle loaded with illegal timber allegedly from Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is impounded by NFA officials

Audio 5

The National Forestry Authority-NFA has come under fire from the communities neighboring Bugoma Central Forest Reserve in Hoima district for abetting illegal lumbering. Residents accuse NFA officials for laxity, which has fueled the illegal timber trade.

 

Residents expressed their concern during a collaborative meeting organised by the National Association of Professional Environmentalists -NAPE held at Kabwoya sub county headquarters on Wednesday.

 

 

Annet Agaba, a tree planting coordinator for Kidoma Conservation Development Association told the meeting that NFA officials don't responds to calls when residents notify them about the activities of illegal loggers.

 

She explains that when the Community Forest Management groups-CFMs entered partnership with NFA, the Bugoma forest was in a very good shape, but the laxity of NFA officials has fueled lumbering.

 

 

Runyangore

//Cue in:"Konga NFA ...

Cue out...ya eri mpango"//

 

Charles Byamuleme, a resident of Kyangwali Sub County accuses NFA especially the forest supervisors and police personally deployed to guard the forest for conniving with illegal loggers to cut down trees. He says the reluctance of NFA officials has demoralized residents to report the illegality, since no action is taken.

 

//Cue in: "The big obstacle...

Cue out...face obstacles"//

 

During the meeting, the Community Forest Management group members proposed that they be allowed to plant trees in the grass lands to enable to keep a close eye on the protected areas. John Kaahwa, a resident of Kabwoya Sub County, says because of the increasing pressure for land for cultivation, many CFM members wish to utilise the empty parts of the forest.

 

Runyoro



//Cue in:"Itwe nga Kabwoya...

Cue out..kugoboramu"//

 

Stuart Maniraguha, the Budongo Range Manager, said the issue of illegal lumbering involves both residents and community members. He explains that CFM group leaders often over step their mandate by taking unlawful decisions.

 

 

//Cue in:"The integrity...

Cue out...our principles"//

 

But 70-year-old Francis Nyakojo, who has spent his entire life around the forest, says there is need for government to review the way NFA has been managing reserves. He says the forestry department was more aggressive in managing the reserve due to the absence of corruption.

Runyoro

//Cue in:"Hati birobino...

Cue out... kukira baali"//

 

According to NFA, over 2000 hectares of the 41,142 surface area of Bugoma Central Forest Reserve has been encroached on through agriculture and illegal logging.

The collaborative management agreements allow the neighboring communities to freely access firewood, fruits, herbs, promoting eco-tourism and setting up beehives for apiary management.