Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Amuru district authorities have ejected 103 illegal charcoal dealers and impounded 200 bags of charcoal from Attiak Sub County.
The illegal charcoal dealers were rounded up in Apany Village in Okidi Parish on Monday evening in a joint operation involving Uganda People`s Defense Force-UPDF, Police and Atiak Sub County authorities.
Wilfred Odiya Baguma, the Attiak Sub County LC III Chairperson told URN that the charcoal dealers were first detained at Atiak Youth Multi-Purpose Hall before they were escorted out of the district on Tuesday evening.
He revealed that during the verification exercise, they discovered that several of the illegal charcoal dealers came from Mbale, Bugiri, Kaberamaido, Tororo, Wakiso, Kamdini, Kapwchwora, Mbarara and Kween districts while others travelled from as far as Rwanda.
Baguma disclosed that the charcoal dealers were made to sign an agreement with the district on which they appended their signatures and included National Identification Numbers (NIN) committing never to return to the illegal business.
The impounded charcoal bags were auctioned to raise money for hiring a lorry registration number UAX 391J that was used to ferry the dealers out of the district up to Kamdini in Oyam district, about 200 kilometers away.
Agnes Linda Auma, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner told URN on Tuesday evening that the operation was launched to wipe out illegal charcoal dealers who have indiscriminately destroyed trees in the district.
Auma says the district passed a by-law banning trading in forest products yet the dealers still find their way illegally into the district. Last year, more than 100 illegal charcoal dealers were evicted from the same parish.
Michael Lakony, the Amuru district chairperson, says trading in charcoal in Amuru is illegal. The charcoal dealers use power saws to fell trees to the ground for both charcoal and logs.