Youths Protest Delayed Restoration Of Bugoma Land By Hoima Sugar
- Written by Baz Waiswa
- Published in Environment
- 0 comments
Youth for Green Communities, a local Non-Government Authority, on 20th March 2023, wrote to the Executive Director of Hoima Sugar Ltd protesting the delayed restoration of Bugoma Central Forest Reserve.
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), on 27th September 2022, released a Press Statement in which it ordered Hoima Sugar to safeguard the environment and stop any further damage to the environment.
In the statement, NEMA asked Hoima Sugar to immediately stop any further deforestation of the natural reserved forest area, ecotourism area, cultural sites and land reserved for the urban centre.
It also asked Hoima Sugar not to plant any sugar cane in the said reserved area, restore degraded areas, prepare and implement a restoration plan for the affected areas at the company's cost and permit third parties approved by the Authority to participate in the restoration process.
Further, NEMA halted the urbanization of the 312.3ha which had earlier in 2020 been approved to be developed into an urban centre - NEMA said that the said area should be kept as a natural forest in view of the country's effort to recover forest cover loss.
In September last year, NEMA had warned that failure to comply with the given instructions would result in NEMA cancelling the ESIA certificate and further legal actions against Hoima Sugar Limited.
The National Environment Management Authority issued Hoima Sugar Ltd an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) certificate No. NEMA/ESIA/13709 on 14th August 2020 to implement its projects.
Section 4 of the ESIA Certificate indicated specific conditions and components of the project as follows: Sugarcane Plantation (9.24 sq. miles); Urban Centre (1.206 sq. miles); Eco-tourism Centre (1.97 sq. miles); Cultural Site (0.156 sq. miles / 40.4038 ha) and The natural reserved forest and nature walk-ways/trails (6.17 sq. miles).
But according to the protest letter by Youth for Green Communities, Hoima Sugar has not heeded to the directives by NEMA, almost a year later.
According to Aryampa Brighton, the Chief Executive Officer of Youth for Green Communities, they are demanding that the company immediately stops the forest destruction for sugarcane plantations in compliance with NEMA orders.