UGANDA, Hoima | Real Muloodi News | Allegations of mismanagement in the land acquisition process involving the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project Affected Persons (PAPs) have gone viral.
The reports allege that EACOP PAPs are being made to sign documents that they do not understand, and do not know which kind of houses they will be given after displacement.
However, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has refuted such media reports, asserting the acquisition is being undertaken in an open and transparent manner that conforms to international best practices and all the Ugandan laws.
According to the social-economic data collected from the households affected by the EACOP, the houses that will be given to them are self-contained. The size of the replacement house is more or less equal to the past existing structures. Once completed, they will also be of better standards and built according to the National Physical Planning Standards and Guidelines (2011).
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards followed in the process require improvement by ensuring adequate compensation.
Project developers have made public the valuation report to all affected persons, followed by other pre-compensation activities such as bank account opening and financial literacy training. Upon valuing the property of the affected person, the valuers make an assessment form, and all PAPs are given a copy of the assessment form.
PAPs must sign on their assessment forms for confirmation of captured details by the valuers and assessors. This is done when the local leaders, district leaders, government representatives, and PAU staff are present. There is always a translator from the community who interprets the information in the local language to the PAPs.
The PAU monitors the land acquisition process to ensure value for money during implementation and compliance with Ugandan laws and international best practices. This, therefore, shows that the key emphasis is to ensure that the project doesn’t affect the concerned communities and to ensure they are provided with support. Thus, claims that the PAPs have not been offered enough support in the ongoing compensation process are misleading and should be disregarded.
More About the Oil Passage
The EACOP will transport crude oil from Kabale, Hoima District in western Uganda to Chongoleani, Tanga in Tanzania, covering a distance of 1,443km.
In Uganda, the EACOP project will cover 296 kilometres through 10 districts, including Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo, Kyotera and Rakai, affecting 3,792 PAPs on approximately 2,740 acres of land, in a linear formation.
3,096 PAPs have land and 696 licenses with structures, crops or growing trees.
The government remains devoted to putting forward the well being of the communities in oil and gas operations, particularly during the land acquisition process. The PAU welcomes stakeholders to seek clarity on the compensation processes to avoid causing anxiety among the communities.
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