Governor Futuyo sharpens blade to deal with illegal loggers

By Bida Elly David

The government of Western Equatoria State has laid a strategy to fish out criminals involved in illegal logging in the State as a quest to protect nature and the diminishing historical traditional trees that are vital for people’s livelihoods.

This development came following a letter of appeal from the Catholic Bishop of Tombura-Yambio Diocese addressed to the governor concerning the negative impacts of logging to the people and the eco-system in relation to nature.

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, Alex Daniel Digi the press secretary in the governor’s office acknowledged the fact that logging activities have been taking place noting that the ministry of agriculture issued an order banning loggers from destroying trees.

He said that the government through the governor is on-line to apprehend criminals involved in cutting down trees for any purpose since the activity affects nature and the eco-system.

Governor Futuyo mouthpiece said the government recently received one logging case from Mundri and Yambio and decided to file them for serious follow up such that legal measures are executed against the criminals (Loggers).

“We are not denying that there are such (logging) activities going on in the state. We have it. One of the cases was reported in Mundri which the government is also following. For the case of Yambio, mostly some of the trees are being cut down for development activities to take place,” he stated.

Digi further lamented that government sometimes decides to cut some trees down in situations of road extension for easy mobility of passengers.

“For example the main road coming from Juba going to Bahr-el-Ghazal, it is 60 km. All the trees which were along the roads were removed. When it reaches town, it looks like destruction but not,”

He said that Western Equatoria State government has prioritized connectivity as one of the major elements to facilitate mobility of people and service delivery.

The press secretary also added that the government is going to consult the companies involved in the logging activities saying that they will investigate the types of trees being cut and dig out the purpose.

Digi however said that the government of Western Equatoria State is concerned with the lives of its people and the importance of rain for improving agricultural activities to fight food insecurity.

The Catholic Bishop of Tombura-Yambio Diocese earlier called on the governor of Western Equatoria State to immediately stop destruction of native trees in the state noting that the activity would result into dangerous consequences of nature if not mitigated.

Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala recently called on the government of governor Futuyo to immediately stop illegal logging of trees terming it as a way of interrupting nature that supports human existence.

Bishop Hiboro warned the government of their silence on the current logging stating that the trees in the state have been in existence for over 200 years as well as played a role in boosting agriculture and a source of air for people.

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