Destruction of Bugoma forest affects neighbouring Kisaaru Tea Estate

The Manager Kisaaru Tea Estate, Saladin Muhukya, speaks to Kazi-njema News at Kisaaru Tea Estate in Kabwoya Sub-county, Kikuube District. (Photo: Gad Asaba).

The cutting down of Bugoma Central Forest Reserve has started posing a threat to the survival of the neighbouring Kisaaru Tea Estate in Kabwoya Sub-county, Kikuube District.

The tea estate that was planted in 1963 on more than 620 hectares of land, borders Bugoma central forest reserve which is currently being cut down by Hoima Sugar Limited for sugarcane growing.

Mr Saladin Muhukya, the Manager Kisaaru Tea Estate, says with the ongoing cutting down of Bugoma forest, the 58-year-old tea estate has started experiencing severe dry conditions likely to affect its operation.

Mr Muhukya says the current destruction of Bugoma forest will compel the management of Kisaaru Tea Estate to resort to using irrigation means to water the plantation since rain is no longer being received like it used before Hoima Sugar Limited started destroying the forest.

He says Bugoma forest was indisputably a water catchment area that provided enough rainfall to support the growth and survival of the once evergreen tea plantation.

The manager, thus, calls upon the government to intervene and address the problem saying turning to irrigation is expensive to the estate.

Audio: Muhukya on cutting Bugoma forest (English)
The Kikuube Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Amlan Tumusiime talks to Kazi-njema News at Kisaaru Tea Estate in Kabwoya Sub-county, Kikuube District (Photo: Gad Asaba).

The Kikuube Resident District Commissioner, Amlan Tumusiime, pledges to engage the relevant authorities over the matter adding that the boundary opening exercise of Bugoma forest is soon to begin.

Audio: Tumusiime on cutting Bugoma forest (English)

Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom leased part of Bugoma forest land to Hoima Sugar Limited for sugarcane growing for 99 years.

Despite local activists and international diplomats condemning the destruction of Bugoma forest citing adverse effects on humans and biodiversity especially when Uganda begins oil production, Hoima Sugar Limited continues destroying it.

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