Africa-Press – South-Sudan. Local leaders in West Nile Region have embarked on a drive to sensitize residents against bush burning and its dangers. Bush fires are common in Madi Okollo, Terego, Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani and Obongi districts between January and March every year. Some communities burn the vegetation to facilitate the hunting of edible rats and other bush animals while others burn the bushes to allow for the regeneration of vegetation for their animals. This year, several incidents of bush fires have already been registered in Madi OkolloTerego and Yumbe districts.
The fires have left a trail of destructions including razing down grass-thatched houses. Ismail Drabe, the Madi Okollo LC V Chairperson, said that they have already embarked on a home-to-home campaign to sensitize residents against bush burning.
”We are sensitizing them door to door,’’ he said.In Terego district, in addition to 3 by-laws enacted by the council to regulate bush and charcoal burning, the authorities are recruiting environment scouts to report on any cases of bush burning for a quick response. Wilfred Saka, the Local Council Chairperson, says that those found to have set bush fires shall be fined.In Yumbe district, the scourge of bush fires is being reported within Yumbe Town Council and Kochi, Romogi, AriwaKululu, and Odravu sub-counties. KhasimAsiku, the Speaker Yumbe district local council, said that they lost several houses to the reckless fires in the town council.
“Many lost properties because of fire which is very bad,’’ he said
He, however, said that the practice remains a challenge in the refugee-hosting areas.He says sensitization of the communities on the dangers of bush fires with the aim of reducing the practice is ongoing. Last year, one person was burnt to death, and two others survived with injuries in Romogi Sub County after an unknown person set fire, which destroyed several homesteads.