Section 4 of the Certificate indicated specific conditions and components of the project as follows:
- Sugarcane Plantation (9.24 sq. miles / 2,393.8483 ha)
- Urban Centre (1.206 sq. miles / 312.3 ha)
- Eco-tourism Centre (1.97 sq. miles / 510.2277 ha);
- Cultural Site (0.156 sq. miles / 40.4038 ha);
- The natural reserved forest and nature walk-ways/trails (6.17 sq. miles/1,598.023 ha).
National Environment Management Authority has ordered Hoima Sugar LTD to restore degraded parts of the Kikube mixed land use project area.
NEMA has also canceled the approval for urban center development in the ecosystem.
This follows the ongoing public outcry accusing Hoima Sugar of destroying Bugoma forest, a Natural reserve with several wildlife species.
According to the Executive Director NEMA Barirega Akankwasa, Hoima Sugar has been directed to stop further deforestation of the Natural forest reserve, stop sugarcane growing and Hoima Sugar also ordered to restore the damaged area with indigenous trees.
Hoima Sugar Limited submitted an environmental and social audit report for the project in June 2022.
A review of the Audit Report and our further investigations including ground inspections in September 2022 revealed that there was deforestation of the natural reserved forest areas contrary to approval condition 4.3
As a result of this, the area of natural forests that was supposed to be protected has been affected and severely degraded.
There was deforestation of the eco-tourism site contrary to approval condition 4.3 (i)(c) which has affected the quality of the site for eco-tourism purposes.
According to NEMA, the findings amount to a breach of conditions of approval of the NEMA certificate issued to the company contrary to section 157(f) of the National Environment Act, 2019.
In exercise of powers vested to the Authority under section 129 of the National Environment Act, 2019, NEMA has issued Orders and Notices to the company in order to safeguard the environment and avoid any further damage to the environment:
Immediately Stop any further deforestation of the natural reserved forest area, ecotourism area, cultural sites, and land reserved for the urban centers.
No sugar cane should be planted in the natural reserved forest area, ecotourism area, cultural sites area, and land reserved for the urban centers.
The sugar cane MUST be restricted to the area permitted in the certificate.
The 312.3ha earlier approved for the urban center is halted to be kept as a natural forest in view of the country’s efforts to recover forest cover loss.
Restore all degraded areas of the natural reserved forest area, ecotourism area, cultural sites, and land reserved for the urban center.