On the other end of Lake Victoria, on the island of Bugala, a shanty town lies. Kalangala is, or rather was Uganda’s goldfish. Made of 84 islands in Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world, with abundance of fish at least by 2011.
What has befallen Bugala Island, the largest of the 53 inhabited islands, with largest social infrastructure, hosting the seat of the district headquarters, may be compared to what befell Europe during the barbaric Ages of destroyed civilization. Unemployed farmers and subsistence fishermen barely surviving after BIDCO one of the largest consumer companies in east Africa, forced them off their land.
The farmers accuse BIDCO for colliding with Local officials to grab their land, wreck their crops, deforested and planted Oil palm trees. Over 18,000 acres of land have been destroyed. John Muyisa, a resident of Bumangi, says “in 2011, Ham Sempa sold off our land to BIDCO to start planting Oil palm trees. Our homes and crops were destroyed yet no compensation was made for the damage.” A few that were compensated were paid a sum of 50,000-100,000shs which they think was peanuts.
The farmers raised money with help from The Earth Uganda to sue BIDCO and court hearing started on 30th September 2015. High court judge, John Keitirima granted a temporary injunction stopping further evictions till case is heard on the 14th October 2015.
According to Mukasa Lugalambi, the Lawyer to the plaintiffs, “his clients were promised help from the first family by BIDCO to grab their land and now they are left displaced with no farm land or homes”.
Oil Palm Uganda Limited is a subsidiary of BIDCO Uganda. BIDCO Uganda is a joint venture formed between Wilmar International, Josovina Commodities and BIDCO Oil Refineries, a Kenya-based company.
(this is something outside what you know the Kadali for but it’s worth the read)*Disclaimer*