Gulu district has realized over Shs 600 million in fines and penalties levied against illegal charcoal and logging business.
The district forest officer, James Ocaka says that the money was raised in the first quarter of the financial year 2018/2019.
The district has been charging between Shs 10,000 and Shs 20,000 on each bag of charcoal and equally raised part of the money from fines on impounded trucks loaded with logs and charcoal.
According to Ocaka, Palaro, Awach and Paibona sub-counties have been worst hit by the indiscriminate felling of trees. He disclosed that a recent biomass study conducted in Gulu indicates that 50 per cent of forests have been destroyed in Gulu.
The most affected tree species include Africana Afzelia, Shea and Mahogany. Gulu district vice chairperson, Simon Peter Oola who also heads the charcoal task force said the money will be channelled towards supporting schools and health centres in the district. He also says that some of the impounded logs will be used to make furniture for disadvantaged schools.