The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under its Business Call to Action (BCtA) Project has commenced its investigations into BIDCO's activities on Kalangala Island.
This follows a petition filed by the Bugala Farmers Associations, Bumangi village in Kalangala Island on January, 28, 2016 protesting the partnership between the UNDP and BIDCO Uganda.
Anne Perrault, the compliance officer social and environmental compliance unit, UNDP together with Paul Goodwin the research analyst in the same unit interacted with the farmers, local civil society organizations and leaders to listen to the concerns raised in the petition.
Among the issues raised were land grabbing, environmental degradation, poor pricing of palm oil produce and the poor conditions under which BIDCO Uganda employees workers.
Perrault, said during the field visit in Kalangala Island, the reason as to why they have decided to carry out investigations is because BIDCO is one its partners in Business Call to Action (BCtA) project.
"To be clear, UNDP is not giving BIDCO financial support, we are only investigating it because of its alliance in the Business call for Action project which is headed by UNDP," she explained.
Adding: "The interest here is to make sure that what UNDP does is to help and not harm the community."
She also noted that after the investigations, a draft report will be written, given back to the community for review before she comes up with the final one.
"I hope to have a draft of the report about my findings within a month," Perrault said.
Goodwin said that so far they have engaged International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), BIDCO Uganda and the community.
"We look forward to meeting BIDCO Kenya and Africa staff members involved in the Business Call to Action project and other key stakeholders with the aim for gathering information before we come up with the final report and recommendations for future decisions," he said.