By Amacha Goli
Adjumani-The first deputy prime minister Gen.Moses Ali has suspended the ban on charcoal trade following complaints from charcoal dealers.
The charcoal dealers had asked to be allowed to transport the charcoal that they had produced before the ban came into force.
Gen.Moses Ali reportedly last week instructed the secretary for production to cause a meeting with members of Uganda Charcoal Dealers Association and plan the best way of allowing them to transport their charcoal.
The Adjumani district secretary for production Ocaya Eti told journalists’ today that the charcoal dealers under their umbrella Uganda Charcoal dealers Association met Gen, Ali last week and begged for time to transport their charcoal that was getting wasted in the wilderness.
In a meeting held in the production board room on November24 that was chaired by the production secretary Ochaya-Eti,the charcoal dealers were given an extension of five weeks to transport their pending consignments of charcoal.
The acting district forest officer Amadra Sabino said the following a directive from Gen.Moses Ali the district has granted the five weeks extension but the fees for transport a lorry of charcoal has been hiked to shillings 1.5 million up from shillings 1 million.
Amadra Sabino notes that the extension has strictly been granted to those who had already produced charcoal pending transportation before the ban came into effect and that no new licenses for charcoal trade will be issued.
He said his office will intensify on supervision and ensure that the charcoal dealers do not indulge in a new wave of charcoal production.
The massive illegal charcoal trade in Adjumani attracted a lot of outrage from the public fearing the depletion of the trees in public land and Zoka central reserve.
The concerns that caught the attentions of district leaders led to the ban on charcoal production, lumbering and any dealings in trees and forest products.