26 September 2006

Uganda: Moyo Officials Bicker Over Forestry Resources

Moyo district environment officials have clashed with the National Forestry Authority officials over the control of community lands and forest products from the district.

The rivalry emerges amidst lucrative business deals from the sale of forest products like timber, charcoal and logs to South Sudan by residents.

The products are said to be on high demand in Sudan than on the local market, the reason residents are flocking the markets.

The District Environment Officer, Mr Morris Edema, has however, accused officials of the forestry body (NFA) of over assuming powers in the control of tree products from the area.

"National Forestry Authority officials are over exercising their powers without knowing their boundaries," Edema said.

He said the NFA has impounded and sold several community pitsaws, bags of charcoal and timber without the consent of the district environment office.

Edema said the NFA officials impound the products claiming they are being produced illegally.


The forestry body has also often been accused of encroaching on refugee lands in Itula sub-county, Obongi County.

The National Forestry Authority Sector Manager, Mr Victor Ajuma, however, said NFA took the responsibility of impounding and disposing of the products after realising that the environment office was dormant.

The district chairman, Mr Peter Iku Dolo, appealed to NFA to change its negative community policies if they are to gain public support.

He said his office had received many complaints from the public about NFA officials' behaviour.

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