The Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) discusses the ongoing struggle activists and politicians in Uganda face over the preservation of the Mariba forest, of which the government intends to destroy 7,100 hectors for sugarcane. The forest’s partial destruction is a threat to both the country’s heritage and environmental health. Uganda has experienced a resent surge in landslides and seen evidence of water stress, both partially a result of deforestation.
A plan to replace a large swathe of protected rainforest in Uganda with sugarcane could lead to further civil unrest in a year when nine people have been killed during strikes and protests against the rising cost of living.
Politicians and activists have warned they will fight the revived plan to uproot just less than a quarter of the 30,000 hectare Mariba Forest, 50km east of Kampala, and allocate the land to the perennially unprofitable Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL), a joint venture between India’s Mehta Group and the Ugandan government.