Photo: Lake Victoria from Bugala Island
KAMPALA, May 26 (Reuters) – Uganda’s government has scrapped plans to convert thousands of hectares of rainforest on an island in Lake Victoria into a palm oil plantation, the environment minister said on Saturday.
President Yoweri Museveni has faced intense opposition, including violent protests, over proposals to give private firms the right to bulldoze protected forests to create farms.
The government said it could not license Kenyan company Bidco to plant palm in what is now a protected forest on Bugala island. Days earlier, Uganda also suspended a separate proposal to give a chunk of mainland forest reserve to a sugar grower.
“They have got to look for alternative land,” Environment Minister Maria Mutagamba told Reuters.