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LAMWO: Police impound 200 bags of charcoal and timber

Impounded charcoal.

Lamwo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The police in Palabek Gem sub-county, Lamwo district have impounded more than 200 logs of the endangered Afzelia Africana tree species.

The logs were impounded on Wednesday from Agwata village, Cubu parish in Palabek Abera sub county, Lamwo district.

Patrick Ongom, the officer-in-charge of Palabek Gem police post, said the logs belong to businessman Emmanuel Ssemwezi.

Ongom revealed that they nabbed the log dealers when they were still loading the logs by the roadside, and waiting to be transported.

Ongom said the log dealers now go deep into the villages where the sound of their power saw cannot be heard, and transport the logs using tractors to access passable roads.

Ongom said he has opened a case of illegal felling and transporting of products of protected indigenous trees.

The 200 bags of charcoal were impounded on Thursday morning from a businesswoman Lillian Ajok and Simon Mugabe.

Sisto Oyet Ocen, the LCV Chairperson Lamwo blamed the land owners and LCI leaders for the continued trade in forest products.

Ocen said the district is going to redirect its energy in arresting the leaders and land owners who are giving the commercial dealers in forest products a fertile ground to operate.

He said the operation will also target local councils that do not report the illegal business going on in their area.

Geoffrey Osborn Oceng, the RDC Lamwo ordered the police to start impounding all forest products in the district. Oceng said following the February 24th letter by the Minister of Environment, all forest products still in the district are illegal.

The impounding of the forest products comes one week after the Minister of State for Water and Environment, Beatrice Atim Anywar, issued a directive directing all the Chief Administrative Officers to recall all produce permit books issued to the district from the Ministry of Water and Environment with immediate effect.

On January 11th, 2023, Anywar first issued a directive banning all documents facilitating the commercial production, trade, and movement of charcoal and other forest products in Gulu district.

The directive followed the growing illegal charcoal production and timber logging, which has led to environmental degradation in the Acholi sub-region. However, leaders in the sub-region suggested that the directive should cover all districts in the Acholi sub-region.

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