Breaking

Bunyoro Kingdom: Land Leased to Hoima Sugar is Not in Bugoma Forest

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.
European Union Heads of Mission to Uganda with officials from Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom.

Audio 3

The Prime Minister for the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom, Andrew Byakutaga has said that the land leased out to Hoima Sugar Limited is not part of the 41,000 hectares of Bugoma Central Forest Reserve.

Byakutaga together with other Kingdom officials were on Tuesday meeting eight European Union (EU) Ambassadors who are currently on a joint mission in Western and Northern Uganda to assess and discuss environmental conservation matters in the country.

Following their Monday interface with environmental activists at Jungle Lodge at Bugoma Central Forest Reserve, the ambassadors led by the EU Head of Delegation Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, interfaced with Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom officials over the 21.54 square miles (5779 hectares) leased to the Sugar Company to cultivate sugarcane. The lease period is 99 years.

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.

Attilio Pacifici, the EU Ambassador questioned whether forests like Bugoma which are part of the Kingdom heritage should be part of the future or need to be discarded.

“Investments should be blessings…they should not become a liability or a curse. They should be bringing about a better way of living. They should not be bringing about problems or misery. How do you strike a balance out of these well-meant investments?” he asked. Pacifici appealed that the forest is reserved for the benefit of the Kingdom and the country.

//Cue in; “is that really…

Cue out…little bit confused.”//

Rudi Veestraeten, the Belgian Ambassador also emphasized the need for a balance between economic development and conservation of natural resources.

//Cue in; “it is also…

Cue out…can work together.”//

Mathias Schauer, the Germany Ambassador equally appealed to the Kingdom officials to take long-term decisions and not short term development gains so that the forest is conserved. But Byakutaga said that statements made by the ambassadors insinuated that the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom is not interested in conserving the forest.

He told the delegation that the land in question is owned by the Kingdom and not part of the forest reserve. He said that the land borders Bugoma forest and that the only grey question is on the boundary between the forest and the land.

//Cue in; “and this particular…

Cue out…and the forest.”//

Byakutaga says that the Kingdom main issue is establishing where the boundaries are since they are not interested in the destruction of the forest.

The Minister of State for Environment, Beatrice Anywar on Monday said that next week, a group of officials from her Ministry and that of Ministry of Lands were going to embark on opening up boundaries of the forest. Ambassador Pacifici said that the EU delegation would have a follow on the matter with further discussions regarding the forest conservation.    

Images 1

Keywords