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Land grabbing in Uganda: Voices from the community

by Denis Burke — last modified May 21, 2013 01:15 PM

Images and videos capture personal and moving testimonies by people affected by Wilmar's plantations in Kalangala, Uganda.


Wilmar International is developing palm oil plantations in biodiverse islands off the coast of Lake Victoria, Uganda. The first phase of the project was completed in 2011 and the second phase of the project is currently going ahead. The second phase will expand palm oil plantations onto several other islands. The project is being promoted as a poverty-reducing endeavour, yet it is causing displacement, food insecurity and deforestation. Read more on the background to this case.



Watch more video testimonies from community members affected by land grabbing >

Images and personal stories





Land grabbing in Uganda II


Nathaniel Bagira


Okia comes from the mainland and is a palm plantation security guard. He is employed to protect the land from locals looking for firewood or people attempting to remove diesel from the diggers.

Some of the men and their machines on a newly cleared site of hundreds of acres by the lakeside. This land assumed by locals to be common land and therefore for public use was all of a sudden in the hands of the plantation owner, BIDCO. Locals were shown a piece of paper and told that BIDCO were now the new owners.
Nathaniel Bagira is one of only a few in the small village of Kasenyi who have not lost land. He, however, is worried that once the forestland has been consumed by the plantation, his 3.7 acre plot may be given to the company. Without the plot he has nothing and no way of supporting himself.


John Zziwa


Edison Musiimenta, Rosemary Nabukeera


Deforestation on Buvuma Island

John Zziwa is a farmer from the village of Njoga which is surrounded by palm plantations. John's neighbours (Epson and Rosemary) have joined the plantation scheme and have planted over forty acres with palm trees. Instead of walking home through a tropical forest John now walks through a plantation. Edison Musiimenta, Rosemary Nabukeera and daughter Maureen Nuwagaba have come from the mainland. Around eight years ago Edison came looking for work. He was so impressed with the quality of the soil and crop that he asked someone for a small plot of land to farm on. Edison is now one of the larger charcoal producers selling huge bags of the fuel to a mainland agent.
Deforestation on Buvuma Island


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