Women in Bunyoro want to meet President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
over the giveaway of Bugoma Central Forest Reserve to Hoima sugar Limited for
sugar cane growing.
The women want the President to spare time when he campaigns in the region in
two weeks, to explain why he has remained silent regarding the giveaway of the forest.
Hoima Sugar Limited leased close to 22 square miles of the contested Bugoma
Central forest reserve land from the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom for sugarcane
growing for 99 years.
However, the National Environment Management Authority -NEMA found
that 13 of the 22 square miles, unfit for a sugar plantation and recommended
their preservation since it’s a wetland and forest reserve.
As a result, NEMA allowed Hoima Sugar factory to cultivate sugarcane on the
remaining 9.24 square miles covering the grassland, establish an urban center
on 1.26 square miles, an eco-tourism centre on 1.97 square miles and restore
3.13 square miles of the forest reserve.
They also recommended the preservation of another 0.156 hectares
for the cultural site and 6.17 square miles as a natural forest.
Ramurah Asasira a resident of Nyirongo village in Kikuube district
says as women they are too much concerned that if the forest is destroyed, they
will be greatly affected since it provides them with firewood, medicine among
others and therefore they want the President to stop any illegal activities in
//cue in;”Message yange ni…
Cue out:…Kubaho Mulingo ki.”//
Peninah Ruhindi, a resident of Kigaaga in Buseruka sub-county in Hoima district
says that the President should not consider the interest of investors who want
to destroy nature that is critical during this time when the Albertine and the
country at large will be undergoing production phase of the oil and gas.
//cue in;”Nka hura nsasire…
Cue out:…Kibira Kya Bugoma.”//
Oliver Tibaita from Hoima district says that the forest attracts
rainfall that boosts agriculture in the region and therefore its destruction
must strongly be condemned by all stakeholders including President Museveni.
//cue in;”Nkujumirira abo bona…
Cue out:…Kyatu Bugoma forest.”//
Jennifer Nakitende from National Association for women’s Action in
Development-NAWAD says there is fear that oil and gas activities taking place
in the Albertine Graben will increase climate change effects through increased
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and argues that forests such as Bugoma are
needed to act as carbon sinks of the emissions to avoid or mitigate the
negative impact of climate change.
//Cue in: “so many women…
Cue out: “…and everything.”//
Sostine Namanya, from National Association of Professional
Environmentalists-NAPE, says Bugoma forest has a lot to offer to humanity, and
therefore its destruction will negatively impact on the people settling
adjacent to it especially the women.
//cue in: “Part of this…
Cue out:…from the forest.”//
The Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom has always maintained its position that
the land that was leased to Hoima Sugar is not part of Bugoma forest but the
Kingdom’s Ancestral land that is adjacent to the forest reserve.