Conservationists have branded a decision by the Ugandan high court to allow swathes of forest to be cleared for a sugarcane plantation “an unforgivable shame for all people”. Work to clear 900 hectares of Bugoma Forest Reserve, in Hoima, began last month after the court ruled that the land, leased by Hoima Sugar Company Ltd, lay outside the protected area of the forest. The court ordered the National Forestry Authority (NFA), which manages it, to vacate the land and remove the military officers who had been guarding it. The NFA has appealed the decision. The land was leased to Hoima Sugar, which has a 70% shareholding in Kinyara Sugar Works in neighbouring Masindi district, in 2016 for 99 years by Solomon Iguru Gafabusa, king of the ancient kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara. He said the leased area was ancestral land and not part of the protected forest.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN