Kafu River tree destruction worries Masindi environmentalist, seeks RDC’s intervention

Hoima district leaders moving to inspect the state of River Kafu in Buhanika sub-county. (File photo)

Following the indiscriminate tree felling in Masindi, the district environment officer has rushed to the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) seeking intervention to stop the illegality.

Ms Olivia Nabukenya told the RDC, Rose Kirabira, today that despite having been arrested and handed to the police on 20 this month, Vincent Byakatonda continues with blanket tree cutting for charcoal burning at the shore of River Kafo in Kimengo sub-county.

The environment officer said on arrest and interrogation with the help of the environmental police, Byakatonda claimed that he bought the trees from the Karangwe village chairperson, Fred Kyomuhanda, who was also later arrested and taken to Masindi police station for legal management.

She revealed that during the operation, more than 100 bags of charcoal were recovered and taken to Kimengo police post as exhibits.

However, Ms Nabukenya said on being released on police bond, Byakatonda resumed cutting down the trees.

“After two days, the two were released on police bond and Byakatonda went back to cut down the trees yet he knows that it is criminal and has adverse effects on environment.”

The RDC advised the environmental expert to re-arrest Byakatonda with fresh evidence to compel the police arraign him in court.

When contacted, the acting district police commander, Edinah Nyinareza, said the matter was being handled by the Environmental Protection Police Unit, advising Ms Nabukenya to follow up the matter with that office.

However, the police officer said Kyomuhanda and other people who were found at the scene of crime were not arrested but taken to police to record statements on the matter.

This website was unable to get a comment from the environmental police.

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