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Isingiro Suspends Ban on Charcoal Burning

The district slapped a ban on charcoal burning in October citing the depletion of the forest cover in most sub counties there. It was one of the initiatives taken to end indiscriminate tree cutting and mitigate the impacts of climate change on the surroundings.
Animals Grazing on dry land in Kashumba sub county in Isingiro District.

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Isingiro district has lifted a ban on charcoal burning two months after it was put in place.

The district slapped a ban on charcoal burning in October citing the depletion of the forest cover in most sub counties there. It was one of the initiatives taken to end indiscriminate tree cutting and mitigate the impacts of climate change on the surroundings.

The district leadership had declared that persons found burning a bag of charcoal would be fined 50,000 Shillings while those found burning more than a sack were to pay an on spot fine of 200,000 Shillings. They would also face imprisonment for one year or both penalties.

Isingiro District Chairperson Jeremiah Kamurali told Uganda Radio Network that the district executive suspended the ban upon recognizing that the locals who were involved in charcoal burning are struggling to earn a living amidst a dry spell that has paralyzed the area.

He however adds that all those involved in the charcoal burning business are required to replace every tree they cut with five new trees.

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Emanuel Bwengye, the natural resources officers for Isingiro says that his office is working with the local leaders to ensure that all the cut trees are replaced. Bwengye says that the district is paying the price of depleting the environment and that failure to put things right will be disastrous.

Ketrah Musimenta, a charcoal dealer in Isingiro town council says that she was worried of the next move. She says that the prices of charcoal had risen from 20,000 to 35,000 after the ban was slapped adding that the ban the suspension will ease their business.

But for Jackson Tushemereirwe, also a resident of Isingiro town council, the suspension of the ban is not a wise decision. He says that the ban should have been maintained considering the tough time the district is going through.

He wonders if the initial intention of the ban were achieved in the only two months that it has been in place.

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