By Christopher Nyeko
Gulu: The civil society organization and environmental activist, has blamed vast environmental injustices in Acholi as being fueled by influence by local government leaders at both the district local government and the lower local government.
According to these environmental activists, the majority of districts in the Acholi sub-region are said to be thriving on revenue realized from tariffs they imposed on dealers in lucrative forest products such as charcoal, logging, timber, and poles, among others.
The activists also note that many in Acholi have passed ordinances, and sub-counties have also enacted by-laws aimed at conserving the environment; however, they are still ignorant of implementing them.
Olweny Ballingtone Pa Ongwech, the councilor V for Bungatira sub-county in Gulu district, admitted the blame, reviling that Gulu district has failed to realize its proposed revenue of 900 million projected for the financial year 2023-2023; however, they realize only 50 million shillings.
The low revenue realization was due to Presidential Executive Order Number 3 of 2023 issued on March 19, 2023, which banned commercial production of charcoal and movement of any forest produced from Acholi.
Ballingtone discloses that the district is currently looking to impose tariffs on milks being produced in Gulu district by Balalo herdsmen as alternative ways of getting revenue instead of relying only on natural resources, which he said have become an unreliable source.
Ballingtone was yesterday speaking to the journalist at Numec during a press conference organized by a civil society organization to inform the public on the new intervention they are coming up with to curb environmental destruction.
Speaking to ugreports.com, Author Owor, the coordinator of CSOs and founder of Our Trees, we need answers to a pressure group form to raise concerns about environmental destruction, saying ending environmental injustices needs a holistic and proactive approach directed toward changing the mindset of the community.
Owor says a number of civil society organizations and NGOs have tried to fight environmental injustices, but their approaches were greatly misunderstood by the community.
Bernard Luwum, technical advisor for Acholi cultural heritage, says for the last 15 years they have been implementing the Gulu Go Green campaign, where they planted at least 25,000 trees in various entities and distributed seedlings to individuals. However, the project, which looked at planting 15 trees, achieved merger success as many of the trees planted under the project were eaten up by termites’ invasion, others were razed by wildfire, and others were ruined by domesticated animals.
because the individuals still have the mindset that their seedlings should be taken care of by NGOs and CSOs, which provided them with the seedlings.
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