CSOs stuck with Save Bugoma Forest Campaign

L-R: Mr Joshua Mutale, the Coordinator Water and Environment Media Network (WEMNET) and Mr Dickens Kamugisha, Chairman Save Bugoma Forest Campaign. (Image: File)

The Save Bugoma Forest Campaign (SBFC) Chairperson stands puzzled.

  • We achieved on the boundary opening but later disappointed to see no survey results.
  • Unfortunately, Hoima Sugar has continued to degrade the forest.
  • Some disgruntled community members who used to fight for it have also resorted to degradation.
  • We have no capacity to stop the destruction.
  • I get confused when the president appears as if he has not been aware of Bugoma forest degradation yet we have written several letters to him.
  • We still believe the president has all the powers to stop this ‘madness’ of deforestation.
  • We must continue demanding the boundary opening report to be made public.
  • We have been tossed in courts of law.
  • The presidential pledge to intervene after witnessing the destruction we have been talking about means our efforts are not in vain.

Multi-media article details:

Charcoal burning in Bugoma forest. (Image: Kazi-njema News)

This article carries a video of a one-to-one interview between Kazi-njema’s John Kibego and Mr Dickens Kamugisha, the Chairperson of the Save Bugoma Forest Campaign (SBFC).

The video carries clips of the latest information on the state of Bugoma forest and the related literature in the struggle to save Bugoma which is Uganda’s second largest Central Forest Reserve after Budongo.

The National Forest Authority (NFA) says the rate of destruction is alarming with between 6,000 to 8,000 hectares destroyed on the disputed parts of the forest in the past three years.

NFA’s Kisindi Sector Manager, Mr Alex Obonyo, inspects the degraded parts of Bugoma forest in April 2023. (Image: Kazi-njema News)

In January this year, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni pledged to take action against all encroachers but degradation continues as reported by the NFA.

NFA has arrested 200 encroachers in the past three months but has only 25 prosecuted.

The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Spokesperson, Mr Denis Obo, says the boundary opening report will be made public once it is well set. He did not specify the date.

Kikuube Resident District Commissioner, Mr Amlan Tumusiime, inspects Bugoma forest in April 2023. (Image: Kazi-njema News)

The disputed 22-square mile land widely believed to be part of the 400 square km of Bugoma central forest reserve was leased out by Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom to Hoima Sugar Limited-the developer recognised by the government of Uganda.

In November 2020, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Uganda lead a delegation of international diplomats who visited Bugoma forest and vowed to do whatever it would take to save it. Their visit was the first and last as of now.

What has the Save Bugoma Forest Campaign (SBFC) Chairperson has to say?

Watch the video interview titled: CSOs stuck with Save Bugoma Forest Campaign accessible on YouTube and SoundCloud.

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