Kibaale District Sets Stringent Conditions For Timber Dealers

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In short
Kibaale District local government has set stringent restrictions on timber dealers and users of other forest products following the lifting of the ban on timber production.

Kibaale District local government has set stringent restrictions on timber dealers and users of other forest products following the lifting of the ban on timber production.
 
The new stringent measures were outlined during a meeting held at Kibaale town council hall on Wednesday. The meeting brought together timber dealers, district officials and representatives from the ministry of water and environment.
 
Wilson Kyamuhondeire, the Kibaale district Forestry Officer, explains that the restrictions include a ban on transportation of timber and charcoal during night hours, use of power saws and encroachment on forest reserves in the district. Power saws are being discouraged due to their capacity of wasting wood.
 
He adds that operators’ licenses will be cancelled once one is interdicted over encroachment on forest reserves.
 
Kyamuhondeire also reveals that currently Uganda has maintained its stand on the ban of exportation of timber citing high domestic demand. In the new restrictions, no operator is authorized to export timber.
 
John Ejokuna Elatu, the Kibaale district police commander, says that any form of activity contrary to the set guidelines and restrictions will attract the intervention of police.
 
Elatu notes that police are ready to arrest timber dealers who conduct their activities during the night.
 
Louis Balikuddembe, the Kibaale district Natural Resources Officer, is optimistic that once respected, the new restrictions will see the standard of natural resources in the district restored.

Balikuddembe says that Kibaale district has suffered encroachment on forest reserves from people seeking to start agricultural activities, charcoal burning and lumbering among others.
 
He notes that all these activities if not regulated can easily see vegetation and forest cover in the district extinct. The worst affected areas are in the sub counties of Rugashali, Kasambya, Bwanswa, Nyamarwa, Kiryanga, and Kakindo among others.
 
However some timer dealers are expressing skepticism over the restrictions saying that these are the same rules that have always been put but they are never followed. Matia Kisembo, one of the timber dealers notes that the business has been marred bribery, a thing which he says will affect the new guidelines.

According to National Forestry Authority (NFA), over 90 percent of the population in Uganda uses charcoal and firewood for cooking, which puts pressure on the forests.
 
In 2009, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) published a report warning that if deforestation is not checked, Uganda will have lost all its forested land by the year 2050.