Sugarcane project: Ugandan govt sued for clearance of forest

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Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

By Kwanta Douglas –

The Uganda Law Society (ULS), has dragged the government before a Kampala High Court for approving a private company to clear parts of a natural forest for sugarcane growing.

President of the ULS, Pheona Wall, explained in a statement that the lawyers seek to have the court declare null and void a decision by the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) to allow Hoima Sugar Limited to clear 5,500 hectares in the Bugoma Forest Reserve for sugarcane growing.

The ULS petitioned in conjunction with Environment Shield Limited, a civic organisation specialising in climate and natural resources, and Resource Rights Africa, a research organisation that advocates the promotion and protection of people’s rights.

They said the Nema decision is fraudulent.

The applicants also want the court to declare that the pre-environmental and social impact assessment report by Hoima Sugar was shallow, inaccurate and misleading, hence threatening the right of Ugandans to a decent, clean and healthy environment.

The petition came a week after the High Court ruling in Kampala that authorised the government decision to allow Hoima Sugar to clear the forest reserve, about 250 km mid-west of the country’s capital, Kampala.

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