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Assessment of short term gains from oil palm plantations in Kalangala, against long term benefits of forest conservation

Publication

Authors: Abwoli Banana, Steven Kaukha and Steve Amooti Nsita

Uganda - 2018

Language: English

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In Kalangala district, jobs have been created by oil palm and infrastructure has improved, but it is debatable whether the wellbeing of rural people has benefitted, and impacts on the national economy are uncertain. Most well-paying jobs are taken up by people from outside the district, and menial jobs are paid below the going rates. Outgrowers claim to be taking home less than they had expected and fishing is considered more lucrative. Regarding food security, private land owners may have willingly sold land for oil palm development, but some had tenants who were evicted without fair compensation or resettlement. It is also increasingly difficult to find grazing land for domestic livestock or farming land to cultivate food crops. Access to fuelwood and construction materials is also becoming a problem, with running battles with National Forestry Authority officials as unauthorized harvesting escalates in forest reserves. Forest cover is reduced. Fish breeding grounds are polluted by deposition of eroded soil on shore land. The sanctity of lakeshores and natural forests has been violated as government officials looked on, or even looked away. This suggests that there is a need for an independent monitoring programme of long term environmental and social impacts, and that governmental commitments to resolve and enforce its own environmental laws are tested.  

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