Agago: Cultural leaders oppose tree cuttings in fight against climate change
Last Updated on: 14th February 2022, 06:19 pm
There are fines imposed on those who are always victims of cutting trees. The fines range from two chickens to millions of shillings.
By Regina Lalam Olal
Agago – February 14, 2022: Tree cutting in Acholi sub-region and other parts of the Northern region by businessmen and locals continue to be a big challenge.
When trees are cut, it is to serve short-term benefits: it is never replaced. In the long term, the community is adversely affected as a result of climate change.
In trying to bring an end to the adverse effects, Rwot Kasimiro Ongom, Ker-kwaro Patongo is leading a team of Ker- kwaro Acholi chiefs in Agago district to fight against what they termed as “rampant” tree cutting.
He revealed that as cultural leaders, their target is to protect tree species, especially Shea tree [yaa], Tido, kworo, and others.
He highlighted some cultural benefits of Shea trees “yaa” as a source of food. In Acholi culture, shea oil is used when installing a cultural leader [Rwot] into power.
Apart from the cultural rituals, and source of food, [shea] trees help in rain formation, windbreak, homes for birds, animals, and insects.
According to Rwot Kasimiro, there are fines imposed on those who are always victims of cutting trees. The fines range from two chickens to millions of shillings. The money, he said facilitates their field operations.
These cultural leaders are moving in a team of 16. They hire motorcycles for the operations, according to Rwot Kasimiro Ongom.
He gave an example that when a person cuts one Shea tree, he/she is subjected to a fine of one bull, two goats, and two chickens.
Anybody found buying charcoal or logs is fined shs2m, 1bull, 2 goats, and 2 chickens, he said.
The leaders have gone ahead to summon the LC3 Chairman of Adilang sub-county Okwir Mohamed.
In a letter dated February 10, 2022, clan chiefs accused him of allegedly interfering with their work, extorting monies from those who are cutting trees, inciting community on cultural leaders, under minding leaders, among others.
The LC3 chairperson, Mohammed said he has not received any letter from cultural leaders.