March 3, 2024

Justice Minister Mao starts massive reforestation drive in Northern Uganda

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Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Norbert Mao has embarked on a mass tree-planting drive in Northern Uganda.

He says that the area has been greatly damaged by indiscriminate destruction of trees for charcoal business yet no alternatives for replacing the trees have been put in place.

Minister Mao disclosed that his ministry will distribute hundreds of thousands of tree seedlings in partnership with Roofings Limited which they have already signed a memorandum of understanding with, and ask everybody to plant trees.

He disclosed during an interview with URN from Gulu City that the drive is expected to start on 22nd July this year, and will be launched during his ‘’Homecoming’’ ceremony scheduled for the same day.

Mao noted that fighting charcoal burners and stopping lorries must go hand in hand with tree planting, adding that the attorney general`s office will help each sub-county government affected by charcoal business to draft tough by-laws that will be implemented under the presidential executive orders.

‘’We can fight the charcoal burners, we can stop the lorries but we must also plant trees, the two go hand in hand,” said Mao. “We are going to help the sub-county governments, we are going to draft by-laws, I have talked with the attorney general, we are going to draft by-laws, tough by-laws for every sub-county that is affected and under the presidential executive order.’’

The Minister noted that arresting the culprits is not enough, adding that sub-counties will be able to impose fines and collect monies from the offenders while some of them will be subjected to community services.

This comes at a time after President Museveni’s signing an Executive Order  in May this year, exercised under Article 99 (2) of the constitution banning tree cutting for commercial charcoal production in Northern Uganda.  It followed concerns from a section of leaders from the Acholi Sub-region about the rising charcoal trade in the region.

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