By Willy Chowoo
Media houses in Acholi Sub region have been called upon to take a leading role in sensitizing the community on the proposed Acholi Sustainable Charcoal Marketing and Production Policy.
Michael Tebere, Secretariat of the Joint Acholi Sub Regional Leaders’ Forum (JASLF) & Governance Links said the media should mobilize and sensitize the population about the policy.
Tebere who was speaking during a Media Practitioners Training on Environmental Violence/Justice Reporting in the Acholi Sub-Region said it is time for the media to start reporting on issues of Environmental justice.
“It is high time you the media began reporting on issues of environmental justice and violence, it is the media that can change the mindsets by giving out right information to the public”, he said.
Districts from Acholi sub region on 24th August 2018 launched a committee to work on the draft policy on charcoal production in the region. The committee known as Acholi Technical Working Committee on Charcoal (ATWCoC) will guide the development of Acholi Sustainable Charcoal Marketing and Production Bill, 2018.
Acholi Sustainable Charcoal Marketing and Production Bill, 2018 which looks at regulating and controlling production and sale in Acholi sub-region will tabled before different district Local Governments so as to be passed into an Ordinance.
Once the bill has been turned into an ordinance: it shall also establish Parish Environment Committees to ensure enhanced and effective forest and woodland conservation and management, monitor and supervise the association of charcoal producers, and monitor environmentally sustainable charcoal production practices in the provision of economic, social and environmental goods and sources for connected purposes.
Tebere said the committee will meet all the prime ministers in the 54 chiefdoms in Acholi Sub region and will form groups of volunteers from the district to the village levels to help in championing the fight against environmental violence in the sub region.
Research done in the districts of Gulu, Pader, Lamwo, Nwoya and Amuru (between July and November 2017) by Dr. Adam Branch Director, Centre of African Studies, Cambridge University on Environmental Politics and Environmental Justice in Post-War Northern Uganda shows that Northern Uganda is facing multidimensional, interlinked forms of environmental violence.
The leadership in the Sub region believes that by having such a policy in place as an ordinance, local custodianship and stewardship of the tree cover will help to issue ban on current environmentally unsustainable industrial charcoal production technologies.