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Illegal Charcoal Dealers in Gulu Fined UGX 20m

Christopher Opiyo Ateke, the Gulu LCV Chairperson says the ten trucks with over 1,000 bags of charcoals were impounded and fined in the ongoing operation that started on Friday in the areas of Palaro, Paibona, Patiko Sub –Counties among others.
Christopher Opiyo Ateke, the Gulu District Chairman watches as the bags of charcoals are bing counted -Photo by Jesse Johnson James

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Gulu District Local Government has levied fines on illegal charcoal dealers. 

Christopher Opiyo Ateke, the Gulu LCV Chairperson says ten trucks with over 1,000 bags of charcoals were impounded and fined in the ongoing operation that started on Friday in the areas of Palaro, Paibona, Patiko Sub –Counties among others. 

The fine was levied on each bag of charcoal where a single sack went for 10,000 Shillings, a double 20,000 Shillings.  Five trucks were fined on Friday and five others were fined on Saturday morning from the Gulu District Yard.

// Cue in: “I took charge… Cue out …in a month?” // Ateke revealed that the ongoing operation was launched after he learnt that the officers mandated to man the roadblocks and impound the illegal charcoal trucks were receiving bribes from the charcoal dealers.

// Cue in: “To my dismay… Cue out …the police station.” //

He added that the fines are being paid in the district’s bank account to supplement the locally raised revenue. He says that the operation shall continue for as long as the illegal business in the district is dealt with completely.

Patrick Komakech, the Chairman of Patiko Sub County in Gulu District says illegal logging and charcoal burning is still rampant in the Sub County and that the most affected are Pawel –Ayiga, an area bordering Palaro Sub –County.

He added that he has been instructed by the Gulu District to ensure that all trucks carrying charcoals are impounded and fined.

In 2018, the government under Section 29 (1&2) of the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act of 2003 suspended the cutting, transportation and sale of products of Shea nut trees following its rapid destruction.

In March this year, the National Forestry Authority-NFA in partnership with the Environmental Police Protection Unit launched a crackdown on illegal loggers and charcoal dealers in Acholi Sub –Region. In the operations, 5,000 bags of charcoals were impounded and auctioned, while others were burnt.