Government sued over Bugoma forest give away

By Sania Babirye

A human rights defender Turyakira John, together with a climate change organisation the Environmental Shield Limited have dragged Government to the East African Court Justice for allegedly giving away part Bugoma Forest to Hoima Sugar company for growing sugar.

Through their lawyers of Kiiza and Mugisha Company advocates, the applicants claim that the said move will negatively impact the natural environment by causing pollution of water bodies.

These are now seeking court to compel government to cancel the alleged Certificate of Approval of Environmental and Social Impact Assesment granted to Hoima Sugar and a declaration that the project of approval constitutes a threat, breach and infringement of Articles 6(d) ,7(2) and 8(1) of the East African Treaty as amended.

The court has now ordered government to file its defense with in 45 days or failure to do so, the court will move to determine the said suit without their defense.

According to the documents before court, the petitioners States that on the

14th August 2020, Government through National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) granted Hoima Sugar Limited a Certificate of Approval to Environment and social impact Assessment to use 9.24 square miles of Bugoma Forest to grow sugarcane and other related developments.