error: Content is protected !!

CHARCOAL WAR: Dear Odonga Otto, This is My Free Advice to You

Odonga Otto. Courtesy Photo

Dear Editor,

Greetings to my dear friend Hon. Dr. Samuel Odonga Otto. I want to salute you and your environmental team trying to fight the burning, sale, transportation and use of charcoal in Northern Uganda and Uganda at large.

I have been following your war against charcoal trade and if what I have been reading and watching are anything is to go by, I honestly predict that you may not win this war using the current approach simply because Uganda doesn’t have an alternative energy sources.

Besides, the people of Northern Uganda are so impoverished that they may not heed your advice to stop selling their mature natural trees on their private property to charcoal traders who are willing to pay higher prices for such trees for charcoal. Not when these people are failing to raise school fees for their children.

To this end, I would advise you to change your approach by engaging and mobilizing these youth under RPP into a productive force other than turning them into a criminal gang that roam freely looting people and wreaking havoc in the name of protecting environment.

First mobilize these youth and start by utilizing the already available resource – and that is the natural forest that has been in existence since the Kony war. For example, if you can mobilize those boys to harvest that old forest and produce 10,000 bags of charcoal at a price of Shs70,000 per bag, your group will be about Shs700 million richer.

Out of the proceeds, use only Shs50 million to purchase fast growing pine seedlings and plant them on an area from where old natural trees were harvested to restore environment and the balance. You can use the balance for a farming project.

For example, you can purchase a tractor and maize seeds for the youth to plant over 2000 acres of maize which can easily be sold out to South Sudan. In three years, you should be able to establish an agro processing plant to add value to maize and food crops produced by the neighboring community and the RPP group, thereby transforming your group into the most treasured group in Uganda and beyond while setting a wheel of economic transformation in Pader district and beyond.

  • Joseph Okello Emaru from Serere District

 [In recent weeks, Odonga Otto has been at war with charcoal traders. He faces charges of aggravated robbery. He has since sworn that he will ensure that the hunter becomes the hunted, threatening to sue Kabaka’s TV and charcoal traders. (See Details HERE)]

Editor’s Note: To be published in The Viewsroom, email your opinion, preferably less than 600 words, and photo to

(For advertising, sponsored content or story tips, send us a Whatsapp message on +256 705 690 819 or E-mail us on 

Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!