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Pictorial: Illegal Charcoal Business Booming in Contested Apaa Township

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Our reporter saw many other charcoal camps scattered across the area. The illegal dealers told URN on Wednesday that they are from Eastern and Central Uganda and are buying each tree from the residents at Shillings 8,000 to burn for charcoal.
Hundreds of charcoal bags ready for loading

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Illegal charcoal burning is thriving in the contested Apaa Township in Adjumani district. Residents say more than five truckloads of charcoal have been leaving the area each day for the last one week.

 

The illegal charcoal dealers who have pitched camp inside Zoka forest and parts of East Madi Game Reserve have cut huge traditional trees and the endangered Afzelia Africana, Mahognay and Shea trees.  

On Wednesday URN visited the area and found hundreds of charcoal bags packed at the Junction in Apaa while several others were loaded in trucks from an area, just about one kilometer from security check point.     

Our reporter saw many other charcoal camps scattered across the area. The illegal dealers told URN on Wednesday that they are from Eastern and Central Uganda and are buying each tree from the residents at Shillings 8,000 to burn for charcoal.   

Adjumani LC V Chairperson, James Leku said charcoal burning is illegal in the district but the area is in East Madi Game Reserve. Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South Member of Parliament also expressed discontent but says their hands are tied since government curved the area out of Amuru in 2017.  

URN brings you the story in pictures.