Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Environmental authorities in Sembabule district are pushing for a total ban on the cutting of traditional tree species.
Francis Byarugaba, the Sembabule district environment officer says they are working on an ordinance that will fully operationalize the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act of 2003, for purposes of saving traditional tree species that are currently at great risk.
He says the district is currently facing a high rate of environmental degradation, characterized by habits of mass cutting down of trees and depletion of swamps to charcoal burning and agriculture respectively.
He says that the department has now considered tough regulations against the practices that harm the environment, to save the area of the looming severe weather conditions.
Byarugaba explains that together with the concerned departmental heads, they generated a draft of the ordinance which will soon be presented to the district executive committee and eventually be tabled before council for approval.
The proposed ordinance confers powers of enforcement right from village council leaders as the first contact persons in the reporting chain up to the district level.
Byarugaba adds that they are also mobilizing resources to set-up nursery beds stocked with environment-friendly species that will replace the destroyed trees.
He indicates that they have are going to focus on restocking Brevalia and Cader wood tree species that are strong and long-lasting.
Sembabule district is home to two huge gazetted forests reserves of Buyaga measuring to 5,734 hectares and Kazooba forest reserve stretching to 895 hectares, but these have largely been destroyed by both pastoralists and cultivators, as well people burning charcoal.