The move by the Kingdom has attracted negative sentiments from the public who say that the destruction of the forest which is a habitat for over 600 chimpanzees and migratory corridor for large mammals like elephants is dangerous to the country’s environment. The forest is a prime conservation and tourism destination.
The National Environment Management Authority -NEMA found 13 square miles, out of the 22 square miles, were unfit for sugar plantation; They were in a wetland and forest reserve, which should be conserved.
The approved project comprises of four components, a Sugarcane plantation and associated support components including camps, administrative block, waste handling facilities and access road sitting on 9.24 square miles. The second component is the Urban Center which will have comprise of primary, secondary and technical schools, hospital, market, recreation areas, waste handling facilities and access roads all on 1.206 square miles.