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Nine Arrested for Destroying 30 Square Miles of Shea Trees

Abraham Odur, the NFA Forest Supervisor for Aswa River Range comprising Acholi and Lango Sub Regions said that the illegal dealers are specifically destroying Shea trees unlike in other parts of the region. Odur disclosed that an estimated population of shea trees covering over 30 square miles in Lamwo district have been destroyed by the illegal charcoal and log dealers.
Some of the shea tree logs that have been cut for charcoal. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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The police have arrested nine illegal charcoal dealers for destroying Shea trees covering over 30 square miles in Palabek Gem Sub County Lamwo district. 

  

The suspects were arrested on Sunday evening from Beyo Goya Village in Anaka Parish during an operation against illegal charcoal dealers in the district.

  

The operation was sanctioned by the Ministry of Water and Environment, Environmental Police and the National Forestry Authority (NFA) commanded by Xavier Sekanabo, an officer from the environmental police.

  

Among those arrested is Bosco Ocaya who is said to be the main plotter behind the extensive destruction of the endangered tree species. He is being held at Gulu Central Police Station.

  

Sekanabo said that the other eight are being detained at Palabek Gem Police Post. He added that a charge of illegal destruction of forest species as per section 32 of the National Forestry Act. 

 

//Cue in: ‘’we have come…  

Cue out: …others in Teso.’’// 

  

Abraham Odur, the NFA Forest Supervisor for Aswa River Range comprising Acholi and Lango Sub Regions told URN on Monday that the illegal dealers are specifically destroying Shea trees unlike in other parts of region.

  

Odur disclosed that an estimated population of shea trees covering over 30 square miles in Lamwo district have been destroyed by the illegal charcoal and log dealers. 

  

On Sunday, the team also destroyed thousands of shea tree logs from the different areas in Palabek Sub County while they had been piled by the illegal dealers to be burnt for charcoal.  

Earlier, eleven people were also on Saturday arrested from Paibona Sub County in Gulu district on allegations of destroying the endangered tree species including mahogany, shea tree and Africana Afzelia.  

Jimmy Ouna, the NFA Range Manager for Aswa said that the illegal dealers use power saws to indiscriminately cut trees from the trunks, something he explains that makes it difficult for the tree to regenerate because of the oil and chain the destroys the tree stump.  

He decried that the extensive forest destruction is exposing the environment to serious degradation.

 

//Cue in: ‘’they are cutting  

Cue out: … will not regenerate.’’// 

 

While speaking from Kitgum district this month during the requiem mass of Major Santos Okot Lapolo the former Resident District Commissioner for Gulu, Gen. Paul Lokech the Deputy Inspector General of Police faulted some security officials and politicians in the country for fueling forest destruction in Acholi. 

He equally threatened to arrest them.

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