Commencement: 15 February, 1974.
An Act to provide for the prohibition of the burning of grass in Uganda and for other matters connected therewith.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“farming” includes management of land for agricultural, forestry and livestock development;
“grass” includes all vegetation;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for local governments.
2. Prohibition of burning grass.
Notwithstanding the Local Governments Act or any other written law to the contrary, the burning of grass by any person is prohibited in all areas of Uganda.
3. Power to grant permission to burn grass.
Notwithstanding section 2, the subcounty chief may, in writing, after consultation with an officer of the veterinary or agricultural departments not below the rank of a veterinary or an agricultural assistant, authorise controlled burning of grass for a specific purpose; and that burning shall be under the supervision of a parish or subparish chief.
In the case of the burning of grass in a forest reserve declared as such under the Forests Act, the burning shall be carried out, or authorised in writing, by an officer of the forest department not below the rank of a forest ranger.
In the case of burning grass in a national park, a wildlife reserve or a wildlife sanctuary, within the meaning of the Uganda Wildlife Act, the burning shall be carried out, or authorised in writing, by an officer duly authorised in writing, by the board of trustees.
4. Able-bodied men to be ordered to perform certain duties.
Every chief, a police officer, an administrative officer or an officer in the agricultural or veterinary departments not below the rank of an agricultural or veterinary assistant shall order every able-bodied male person who lives or is resident within a reasonable distance from the area under fire, to control or extinguish fire, or to prevent the burning of grass in the area.
Nothing in section 2 shall prevent any person or authority, while taking proper care to prevent the spreading of fire, from burning grass for the purposes of—
clearing a compound;
clearing land for farming;
cleaning a town or city; or
making a fire break for protecting life or property.
6. Offence and penalty.
Any person who carries out the burning of grass contrary to this Act or who fails to obey an order made under section 4, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred shillings or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to both.
For the second offence he is liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twelve months or to both, and for any subsequent offence, such person is liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both.
7. Protection of a chief or other person in his or her official duties.
A chief or any other person shall not be held liable for any act done or ordered to be done or for any omission by him or her in the discharge of the duties or powers vested in him or her by virtue of this Act.
The Minister may, by statutory instrument, make regulations for— (a) the control, prevention or extinguishing of fire;
the burning of grass in certain areas and at certain times; and
generally carrying out the provisions of this Act.
History: Decree 5/1974.
Forests Act, Cap. 146.
Local Governments Act, Cap. 243.
Uganda Wildlife Act, Cap. 200.