Govt finally agree to open up boundaries of Bugoma Forest Reserve

Bugoma Central Forest in Kikuube District, Western Uganda

KIKUUBE, UGANDA: Government has finally agreed to open up boundaries of Bugoma Forest starting this week justifying the conflicts between the local communities, National Forestry Authority, and Hoima Sugar which had last for six years.

The exercise will determine whether the Land leased to Hoima Sugar Limited by the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom in 2016 is located within or outside the reserve.

There are also other individuals and associations like the Tulipona Veterans Association that also claim to be having ownership of some part of the land.

The boundary opening exercise is also set to protect Bugoma Forest from illegal loggers encroachers neighboring the land forest in Kikuube District.

Residents of Rwembaho and Nyairongo villages have for long accused Hoima Sugar Limited of grabbing their land and with the boundary opening exercise, this may come to an end.

The exercise has started with the engagement of stakeholders that includes Kikuube District Leaders, affected residents, officials from the Ministry of Land, National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and National Forestry Authority(NFA). Sofer, Officials from the ministry of land, NEMA, and NFA have met the Kikuube District Leaders.

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Nicholas Kiiza the Kikuube District Secretary for production and natural resources says the stakeholders’ engagement will be held for a week before the actual boundary opening exercise.

“The exercise has started with the stakeholders’ engagement which will take us a week before real boundary opening and so am calling upon all stakeholders more especially residents of Rwembaho and Nyairongo villages to attend our engagements if invited” Said Hon. Kiiza.

Bugoma is a tropical rain forest reserve that covers 41,144 hectares gazetted in 1932 and it is managed by the National Forestry Authority.

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