Kampala, (UG): The Office of the Prime Minister spends 4.019 Trillion shillings on purchasing firewood for refugees according to a revelation by Hillary Onek, the minister for relief and disaster preparedness.
The development came up during a parliamentary sitting this week on Thursday noting that the firewood is used by refugees to cook food.
It should be noted that in May this year, President Museveni issued Executive Order No 3 which, among others banned the production of and trade in charcoal in Northern Uganda, as part of the efforts to protect the environment.
The expenditure on firewood is against a sum of 4.944 Trillion shillings spent annually on refugee response by Uganda.
Mr Onek while making such notices before parliament added: “97% refugees (1.3refugees) use firewood each consuming 1.6Kgs per year valued at Shs5000 per day as indicated by research reports of Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO), World Bank, World Food Programme (WFP)”
In fact, while giving this report, Onek revealed that the government was intending to borrow more money to the tune of US$280Mn (Shs1.059Trn) from the World Bank to support refugees living in Uganda.
Joanita Person, a respondent to the revelation via X notes; “Is the Prime Minister comfortable with more than 90% going to firewood?
Whichever way you look at it, there’s no going around the intentional destructive attitudes of our country’s leadership.”
Another known as Sparta recommends that the money should be wisely spent; “4 Trillion goes for environmental destruction in simple terms, 4 Trns can be used to set up green energy like biogas, LPG, electricity, ethanol, natural gas, and solar power (BLEENS) which are cost-effective, environmentally friendly & long-lasting to save billions for the country.”
Mukaada Dickson says; “if refugees use firewood whyn’t citizens be allowed to use charcoal freely.”
Meanwhile, the National Development Plan Ill 2020-2025 sets a target to increase the land area covered by forests from 9.1 per cent in 2020 to 15 per cent by 2025. NFA says that currently, this cover has increased to 13.4 per cent and that the increased support they are getting will make the goal easier.
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