SH-ACU Investigates the illegal destruction of Mabira Forest

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April 30, 2024. The State House Anti-Corruption Unit, together with the Ssezibwa Regional Police, is investigating the illegal destruction of Mabira Forest following a directive from His Excellency, the President, to halt illegal activities in the forest.

The President has consistently spoken out against this crime and once stated, “Whoever destroys forests is an enemy of the country because forests work as a system, and when one part of the system is tampered with, the entire system is affected.” It is estimated that over 500,000 acres of forests are cut annually throughout Uganda, equivalent to deforesting 43 football fields every hour.

In 2021, Uganda lost 49,000 hectares of tree cover, resulting in 23.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Ongoing investigations have revealed several illegal activities including encroachment for agriculture, logging, charcoal burning, and creation of titles on forest land.

After SH-ACU’s interventions, three suspects, including the sector manager, former forest supervisor, and a businessman, have been arrested. However, investigations are still ongoing to hold all the culprits involved in the destruction of Mabira Forest accountable.

It is imperative that we protect our forests to preserve our indigenous species and mitigate the effects of global warming. However, the National Forest Authority (NFA) has full management over Mabira Forest and its boundaries. The forest covers 306 square kilometers (about 30,000 hectares or 74,000 acres) and is located in Lugazi Municipality, Buikwe District along the Kampala-Jinja highway. Mabira is one of Uganda’s big and natural forests.

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