Wildfires have destroyed more than 1,400 acres of sugarcane in Ayuu Alali parish in Palabek Kal Sub County in Lamwo district. The Chairperson Ayuu Alali Sugarcane Outgrowers Cooperatives Society, Francis Ojwiya, says that the fire broke out from sugar plantations that had already been harvested and swiftly spread to other areas with the mature cane.
According to Ojwiya, close to 600 acres part of the 1,400-acres destroyed was ready for harvest while the remaining 800 acres had been earmarked for use as seed cane for the impending planting season. It’s reported that it took more than two hours for casual labourers who were cutting sugar cane to extinguish the fire from spreading to other plantation blocks.
They managed to save over 2,000 acres. Ojwiya says the cause of the fire is yet to be determined, adding that investigations are underway although management suspects the inferno could be a result of arson and malice by unscrupulous persons.
Mohamoud Abdi Mohammed, the Executive director of Horyal Holding Investment Limited, which is managing Atiak Sugar Works says they have continuously incurred losses as a result of the fires burning their plantations
Mohamoud says the incident comes at a time when they were in the process of creating a fire break to counter the vice. Mohamoud says that fires are common during the dry season. The Lamwo District LC V Chairperson, Sisto Oyet Ocen condemned the cases of arson and bush burning that have resulted in the burning of cane plantations.
This is the first fire incident since the inception of the Sugar cane project in Lamwo in 2018. It follows a similar occurrence last month where the Sugar factory lost over 3,000 acres of sugar plantations in Atiak in Amuru district.