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Army, Gulu elders start drive to end deforestation, fraudulent land sale

Brigadier General Bonny Bamwiseki planting an ovacado tree in Coo Pe Village. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | In a bid to put an end to deforestation and fraudulent sale of land in the Northern Region, the elders and the UPDF, headed by Brigadier General Bonny, have teamed up to launch an initiative to sensitize the community on the dangers of environmental destruction and risks associated with selling off large chunks of land.

Rather than selling off land, the initiative encourages the leasing of land for economic uses, planting of trees, use of alternative sources of energy, and promoting sustainable economic values of land. The campaign will target the youth population who have been in the spotlight for engaging in unscrupulous land deals and trading in tree products.

Brigadier General Bonny Bamwiseki  highlighted that the massive destruction of trees for commercial purposes poses a threat to the environment and climate, and risks the future generation losing their sense of identity.

Gen. Bamwiseki engaged dozens of elders in Coo Pee, Bungatira Sub County, Gulu district on Easter Friday to pass on the message to the community. They launched a campaign to plant more trees and fruits to reverse the devastating effects of trees lost to charcoal dealings and logging.

One of the elders, J.J Olango, notes that the youth in Acholi are not disciplined and are damaging the environment by selling off land for quick cash, a practice that needs to be curbed immediately.

Another elder, Rose Alur Lutwai, attributed the uncontrolled sale of land to death among the Acholi people, emphasizing that it is unbecoming for people to claim to be poor and sell their land.

The Acholi sub-region is battling an increase in extensive deforestation for charcoal and timber, posing fears of harsh climate change if uncontrolled. Additionally, thousands of hectares of land have been sold out to purported investors with an acre going for as low as 300,000 Shillings.

The elders have also pledged to sensitize the community against homosexuality, corruption, and immoralities.

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