Breaking

LC III Chairperson Arrested Over Felling Shea Trees for Charcoal Burning

Omoro Resident District Commissioner Ms Akany says she manage to arrest these four culprits on a tip-off from concerned residents who alerted her about the ongoing destruction of the Shea trees in Idure Village.
LC 111 Chairperson of Lakwaya Sub-county and three others arrested for allegedly felling Shear trees in Idure village on Tuesday 17 July. photo by Alex Pithua

Audio 1



Security officials in Omoro district led by Resident District Commissioner Ms Susan Akany have arrested LC 111 Chairperson of Lakwaya Sub-county and three others for allegedly felling Shea trees in Idure village on Tuesday 17 July.

The other three arrested are Michael Labongo, Charles Oloya and Kenneth Ojok all residents of Idure Village Omoro district.

The four were by press time were being held by Omoro district police station at Lalogi pending investigation while one suspect is said to be at large. 

Omoro district acting DPC Assistant Superintendent of Police -ASP Levi Tumuhangirwe confirmed that the four were handed over to police at Lalogi police station.

“The case has been registered at Lalogi police station under CRB319/2021 and all were charged with illegal dealing in forest products.” Tumuhangirwe said. 

Omoro Resident District  Commissioner Ms Akany says she manage to arrest these four culprits on a tip-off from concerned residents who alerted her about the ongoing destruction of the Shea trees in Idure Village.

“Although we counted only 12 Shea trees cut down, already these people had sold some of the charcoal they had burnt out of shear trees," Ms Akany told urn on Wednesday. "However we intervened early enough and arrested the four while one is at large."  

Akany said the culprits were using modern power saw machines and could cut down many trees in a day and start pilling for burning, adding that if they had delayed to make the arrests, the land would remain been bare in less than a week. 

 

Akany added that the culprits have used the time of the lockdown to take advantage to cut large amount of trees for charcoal burning. 

“These people have taken the advantage that we are busy enforcing the lockdown to cut the Shea trees yet they know the advantage of these trees very well,” she said, warned the community against destroying the environment and advised people to plant more trees to mitigate the climate change.

“I wonder why an Acholi can cut down Shea trees yet they know the value of it as natural source of Shear butter and oil," she said. "I urge people to plant more trees this rainy season.” 

//Cue in Eng Susan RDC:.. the community must protect the environment” Cue out Eng Susan RDC:   we are not going to give them time"//

Akany says more people are going to be arrested because other sub-counties experience similar environmental destruction and the perpetrators do it intentionally. "

They knows very well the dangers of trees destruction on the climate but they continue destroying more every day," she says. 

The Omoro district Chairperson Peter Douglas Okao appealed to the traditional institution of Acholi to come out with strong position to save the environment. 

Okao said the four who have been arrested they are going to face the law for the act of destroying the environment. 

He says it has come to attention of the district that people are destroying not only trees but also rocks, hills, swamps and water catchment points like Tochi. 

Okao observes that in Uganda, degradation is attributed to weak enforcement of the applicable environmental laws and fairly low levels of awareness among policy makers and rural communities.

The Gulu district chairman Christopher Opiyo Atekere says they have mounted strict checks all over the side routes that the charcoal dealers use to transport the illegal booty to central parts of the country. 

Currently massive illegal felling is going on in  Agago, Adjumani, Amuru, Lamwo and Pader districts.

######