22 March 2005

Uganda: Environmental Abuse High in Moyo District

Moyo — The Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Peter Odongkara, has expressed concern over the increasing rate of environmental degradation in the area.

Odongkara said Sudanese Refugees in the district were cutting trees in large numbers for charcoal to supplement the food they receive from the UN.

He said unscrupulous people were involved in illegal timber cutting in the forest reserves.

He said the Metu lime project at Arapi in Metu sub-county owned by Mr Agard Didi, the State Minister for Micro-Finance, uses 24 metric tonnes of firewood per day for lime production.

Odongkara said when he visited the lime facility run by Nile Minerals, there were huge piles of firewood.

Odongkara, who was briefing a team of Environmental Alert officials recently, wondered whether the company had applied for a license to harvest 24 metric tones of firewood from the forest reserves.

The team from Environmental Alert, comprising of Ms Maria Kawesa and Ms Agnes Yawe, was in the district to consult with the stakeholders on the plans to expand Environmental Alert services in Moyo.

Kawesa said the purpose of their visit was to support communities achieve sustainable natural resource management.

She said the organisation works in partnership with CBOs, NGOs and CSOs to implement an integrated environmental conservation and sustainable natural resource management programme.

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