The proposed establishment of a sugar project in Luweero hangs in balance over environmental concerns.
The proposed establishment of a sugar project in Luweero hangs in balance over environmental concerns. Sam Mulwana, Luweero district youth councilor says that land earmarked for the project was declared a wetland by the National Environment Management Authority-NEMA in 2008. However, Bukalasa land board leased the land to Goodman International, a Sudanese private firm for 44 years to grow sugarcane.
The 120.9 hectares of land in found in Luweero and Butuntumula sub counties. Residents of Luweero led by their councilors are now protesting the proposed establishment of the can project saying that it will lead to environmental degradation. Sam Mulwana, the Youth councilor says that in 2008 NEMA ordered the district environment department to block encroachers from the land to protect the eco system.
He says that the district environment department also advised the land board to stop leasing the land to protect the wetland but the directive was brushed aside. Richard Bwabye, the councilor for Luweero Sub County says the wetland is a major water catchment area, and source of craft materials for residents. Bwabye says that they have also gathered enough evidence showing that members of the district land board connived with district officials to lease the land after receiving bribes.
He says they plan to move a motion in the district council next week to cancel the lease. Emmy Mugabi, the LC 3 chairman of Luweero Sub County says residents have been using the wetland to irrigate their gardens but they were shocked to hear that it had been leased to an investor. Samuel Mukasa, a resident of the area has welcomed the decision by the area leaders demanding for the cancelation of the lease offered to Goodman International. Teo Gadetesi, the senior environment officer Luweero has confirmed the environmental concerns raised by residents.
Gadetesi says the land in question is a wetland adding that, whoever wants to use it must get a water user certificate from NEMA after carrying out an impact assessment report. She however declined to comment further on the matter and referred URN to Christopher Kyomya, Luweero Chief Administrative Officer who was not available.
Efforts to speak to Hood Luyima, the chairman Bukalasa land board and the investors were futile as they could not be reached. Recently, Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police instituted a probe into the land transactions following complaints from over 500 residents occupying the disputed land.
luweero sugarcane project
national environment management authority
sudanese investors of goodman international company