Ugandan minister of water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris has instructed the National Forestry Authority to stamp on all legal timber sold in the market in a move to reduce illegal timber cutting in the country’s forest reserves.

While addressing journalists in Hoima Western Uganda on Saturday January 13, shortly after his visit to Bugoma Central Forest Reserve, the minister said timber dealers have been given two weeks to get rid of all the timber in the stores after which government will start impounding all timber without stamps from the forestry departments.

“Any timber found in the stores without government stamp must be impounded in two weeks from now. Even those who are carrying out agriculture must be flashed immediately after harvesting this season,” the minister directed.

The minister also instructed the authority to impound all trucks found carrying timber from rare tree species like mahogany and Aningera (Enkarati) that are only believed to be found in forest reserves.

THREATENED: Severe human activity is putting Bugoma forest at the risk of extinction. NAPE and NFA are partnering to ensure the forest is not depleted. COMMUNITY GREEN RAADIO FILE PHOTO

The minister’s instructions follow reports of connivance to abet illegalities by some individuals in NFA and security that are mandated to protect forests.

Stuart Maniraguha, the manager for Budongo Systems welcomed the move saying it will extremely make it hard for thieves to find market for their timber.

The minister’s visit followed a scuffle between NFA officials and Hoima district leaders during a visit to Bugoma forest that led to the alleged assault of the NFA Kinsindi Sector Manager, Wilfred Twesige by the Hoima District Resident Commissioner,RDC, Steven Ekoom.

Tumwesige reported a case of assault at Hoima police station under reference HMA/6110/01/2018. In the case, it is alleged that Mr. Ekoom, accompanied by security and the Hoima district Chairman, Kirungi Kadir severely slapped Mr. Tumwesige. He says Ekoom was protesting his decision to impound a truck of timber said to have been harvested from Bugoma forest.

The Minister asked the NFA to work closely with the district leadership to ensure that the forest is protected.

In 2016, NFA opened the boundaries of Bugoma forest reserve that sits on 41,142 hectares to reduce on boundary conflicts and encroachers. Bunyoro Kingdom is in court with NFA claiming to own 5777 hectares of land under Block 2 of the forest reserve in Kyangwali Sub County Hoima district in Western Uganda.

NAPE has teamed up with National Forestry Authority (NFA) to harness sustainable management solutions to conserve the reserve. Last year, NAPE facilitated a stakeholders’ meeting that was attended by the communities through Collaborative Forest Management groups to find out challenges, threats and sustainable solutions to the management of Bugoma forest reserve.

Compiled by Precious Naturinda


Over 5000 Congolese who fled their country following tribal clashes, have been resettled in Kyangwali refugee resettlement camp in Hoima district in Western Uganda.

The tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere in areas of Muvaramu, Gobu and Jo in Bunia district in Democratic Republic of Congo sparked off in mid-December last year forcing thousands, mostly women, children and elderly, into Uganda.

The Refugee Desk Officer in the Office of Prime Minister for Albertine Region, Emmanuel Turyagyenda, said refugees started fleeing in hundreds on December 19th through Lake Albert to Kondo and Sebigoro landing sites in Kabwoya Sub County in Hoima district.

“On the first day, we received over 200 and the number kept increasing. They were screened and taken to Kywangwali refugee camp. The number of people coming has, however, reduced because it seems the situation in DRC is getting back to normal. ”, Mr. Turyagyenda told Community Green radio at their Hoima regional office.

He said that with the help of United Nations High Commission for refugees (UNHCR), the refugees were provided with emergence first aid, shelter, food, clothes and care.

“The children were quickly immunized and women provided with pads and other basic requirements since they are vulnerable”, Mr. Turyagyenda explained.
Opio Vincent, the representative for Kabwoya Sub County in the Hoima District Council said called upon Ugandans to welcome the refugees with a humanitarian heart and report them to authorities as soon as they arrive.

Uganda has over 1.2 million refugees from DRC, Somalia, Burundi and South Sudan among others.

According to Turyagyenda, Kyangwali camp has over 400,000 refugees. He says Uganda has an open policy of receiving refugees. He says this is however increasingly exerting pressure on land which might be a challenge to the country in future.

“We shall end up being overburdened in terms of resources because of an open policy of receiving refugees. The policy says the refugees are supposed to be given land to cultivate and settle and then after 3 years they get deleted from the list of those being given food at the camp. When land is finished, I foresee a situation where there shall be a crisis because of the influx.”