Home Crime Illegal Charcoal Trade Thrives with Motorcycle Transport in Northern Uganda

Illegal Charcoal Trade Thrives with Motorcycle Transport in Northern Uganda

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illegal charcoal trade thrives with motorcycle transport in northern uganda
illegal charcoal trade thrives with motorcycle transport in northern uganda
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In Northern Uganda, charcoal trade is still thriving despite a ban on it. The ban was put in place to stop the cutting of trees for charcoal, which harms the environment.

After the ban, authorities in the affected areas began seizing trucks carrying charcoal and imposing fines on the owners. However, a report by an Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee shows that traders are now using motorcycle riders to move bags of charcoal to specific locations where they are then loaded onto trucks.

David Pulkol, who advises the committee, says that motorcycle riders transport charcoal from Northern Uganda through Karuma, where it is loaded onto trucks and taken to central Uganda.

Charcoal traders prefer charcoal from indigenous trees, which take a long time to grow. This raises concerns about the environment and whether it can support the increasing demand for charcoal.

According to a 2015 National Charcoal Survey, Northern Uganda supplies 40.9% of the country’s charcoal, making it the largest supplier. Charcoal remains the primary fuel for households in Uganda.

Pulkol notes that forests are under pressure not only from domestic demand but also from other countries like Kenya, which also banned charcoal trade. He expressed disappointment in finding local leaders engaged in charcoal trade, which they should be enforcing against.

Pulkol suggests that those interested in large-scale charcoal production should be required to plant their own trees for charcoal production. He also recommends training locals to make charcoal briquettes from agricultural waste to reduce tree dependence.

To address the issue of illegal charcoal trade, Pulkol proposes the establishment of an independent body, similar to what was done to combat illegal fishing.

Local leaders also weigh in on the matter, calling for measures to make charcoal production more expensive and clear definitions of what constitutes a commercial quantity of charcoal to facilitate the ban’s enforcement.

Uganda faces significant forest loss, estimated at over 500,000 acres annually, equivalent to deforesting 43 football pitches every hour.