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Museveni Bans Charcoal Trade, Balaalo Herdsmen from Northern Uganda

Impounded Bags of Charcoal In Nwoya. Photo by Omony Denis



President Museveni has signed an executive order banning tree cutting for commercial charcoal production and expelled Balaalo herdsmen in Northern Uganda.

The executive order exercised under Article 99 (2) of the constitution was issued by the President on Friday last week.

This comes barely two weeks after the President pledged to sign the executive order after meeting with a section of leaders from the Acholi Sub-region who raised concerns about the rising charcoal trade in the region.

The President also on a separate note issued an order for the expulsion of nomadic pastoralists commonly referred to as balaalo herders from Northern Uganda with immediate effect by June this year.

Acholi Sub-region has witnessed a surge in the destruction of forest cover for the growing demand for charcoal and timber lately despite an earlier ban issued by the Ministry of Environment in February this year.

It is estimated that Gulu district alone lost a total of 38,700 hectares of forest cover between 2010 and 2021, accounting for about 6.2 percent loss of forest cover.

According to a Global Forest Watch Report, the bulk of the forest covers were depleted due to the growing charcoal trade and wild forest fires.

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