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A new lawsuit against Ugandan government over sugarcane

23 May 2021, The East African
A new lawsuit against Ugandan government over sugarcane

Ugandan lawyers sue govt over clearance of forest for sugarcane growing

Ugandan lawyers have sued the government for approving a private company to clear parts of a natural forest for sugarcane growing.

Pheona Wall, president of Uganda Law Society (ULS), said in a statement that they seek to have the civil division of the High Court in Kampala 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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