Uganda: NEMA asks Hoima Sugar to restore Kikobe Degraded Forest Reserve

The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has ordered Hoima Sugar Limited to restore degraded parts of the Kikuube mixed land use project area.

It should be remembered that NEMA issued the company an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) certificate on August 14, 2020 to implement the above project, under specific conditions.


Accordingly, the project components included the following: a sugarcane plantation (9.24 square miles), an urban center, an ecotourism center, a cultural site, reserved natural forests and nature trails/paths.

However, NEMA says that after review of the audit report in June 2022 and additional investigations including ground inspections in September 2022, it has been confirmed that deforestation of the Reserved Natural Forest areas was contrary to the consent requirement.

“As a result, the area of ​​natural forest that was meant to be protected has been severely degraded (Figure 1). Deforestation occurred at the ecotourism site in contravention of the approval requirement 4-3(1)(c) that affected the quality of the environment,” the authority said in a statement on Tuesday. The site is for ecotourism purposes.


The above findings according to NEMA, amount to a violation of certification approval requirements issued to the company in contravention of Section 157(f) of the National Environmental Law, 2019.

Now, the Environment Agency has issued new orders to the company to prevent any further damage to the forest.

Among the requests, the company was asked to immediately halt any further deforestation in the Reserved Natural Forest Area, Ecotourism Area, Cultural Sites and Urban Center Lands.

The National Disaster Management Authority also ordered that sugarcane not be planted in the natural protected forest area, eco-tourism area, cultural sites area and land designated for the urban center.

NEMA ordered that “sugar cane must be limited to the area permitted on the certificate”.

Furthermore, the 312.3 hectares previously approved for the urban center were decommissioned to be retained as natural forest in light of the country’s efforts to restore lost forest cover.

The company has also been ordered to restore all degraded areas in the reserved natural forest area, eco-tourism area, cultural sites and land designated for the urban center among other conditions.

NEMA has warned that failure to comply with the instructions provided will lead to NEMA’s revocation of the ESIA certification and further legal action against Hoima Sugar Ltd, urging developers to abide by the terms of approval in environmental and social impact certifications.