BY DAILY MONITOR
Amuru. Environmental activists have called on women in Amuru District to deny their husbands sex to compel them to stop the massive destruction of forests for commercial charcoal production.
Under their umbrella body, Our Trees, We Need Answers, the activists argue that the only weapon left to save the forests in the district and the entire Acholi sub-region is women denying their spouses their conjugal rights, arguing that men are the catalysts in deforestation.
George Ovola, one of the activists, told women in Otorokome Village in Pabbo Sub-county, Amuru District, that they should play a big role in stopping environmental degradation.
“You should not wait until the last tree is cut down to make charcoal before you act. Kindly save the trees that have not yet been cut down by commercial dealers,” Mr Ovola said.
He noted that if women can deny their husbands sex for just a week, there will be a change.
However, Ms Mary Auma, a resident, noted that most trees have already been cut down and there is nothing to save.
“It is late to do anything since there is nothing more to save even if we deny our men their conjugal rights,” Mr Auma said.
She said some commercial charcoal dealers are very rich and that in some cases, they lure married women in the area into sex.
Ms Molly Achen, another resident, said men do not care anymore about sex.
“Men here care only about alcohol packed in sachets. If the (government) can stop sachets, that is what will concern them not trees that they have not planted,” she added.
A local charcoal dealer in area, who preferred anonymity, said nothing will stop him from cutting down trees. “With the biting poverty, I am forced to rely on the forest for survival due to lack of economic opportunities at the moment,” he said.
However, Mr Geoffrey Osborne Oceng, an activist, urged the women not to give up. “After you have had a miscarriage, you don’t give up on having children in the future. So, I urge you (women) to do anything to save trees,” he said.
He explained that with change in rainfall patterns caused by environmental degradation, families will not be able to grow enough food to sustain their livelihoods.