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Three Arrested in Kotido over Charcoal Burning

The UWA Warder in- charge of Law Enforcement and Security for Matheniko/ Bokora Wildlife Reserve, Charles Wilson Okuta who led the operation says the suspects were arrested while burning charcoal inside wildlife protected area.

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Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) warders have arrested three men from Panyangara Sub County in Kotido District for cutting trees and burning charcoal in a Wildlife Reserve.

The suspects have been identified as Phillip Achau and Lote Locham both of Loletyo and Chilla Lopio of Rikitae in Panyangara Sub County.

The UWA Warden in- charge of Law Enforcement and Security for Matheniko/ Bokora Wildlife Reserve, Charles Wilson Okuta who led the operation says the suspects were arrested while burning charcoal inside wildlife protected area.

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The three are being detained at Kotido Central Police Station on charges of being in illegal possession of forest products contrary to the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act of 2003.

Phillip Acau, one of the suspects says that they resorted to charcoal burning as a source of income.  He says that due to failed harvest last season, their families are starving and they found charcoal burning the only option.

Okuta explained that under containment settlement at the protected area such as Wildlife Reserves, communities are allowed to use resources in a sustainable manner.

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Kaabong, Kotido and Abim districts banned commercial production and selling of charcoal as a measure of protecting the environment.