• Mon. May 23rd, 2022

UGANDA, Hoima | Real Muloodi News | As Uganda continues to set up infrastructure for the oil industry, the government remains committed to ensuring they look after people whose homes have been affected.

Ali Sekatawa, the Director Of Legal And Corporate Affairs for the Petroleum Agency of Uganda, said, “The Government remains committed to prioritising the wellbeing of the people and communities in the areas of oil and gas operations, particularly during the land acquisition process.”

Over 10,000 Ugandans will be or have been affected by land acquisition of the Petroleum Agency of Uganda and the oil and petroleum industry.

According to Ssekatawa, the government is taking all measures possible to sustain their livelihoods and welfare.

In the Tilenga project, the land acquisition project has affected 5,523 people. The project covers 2,901 acres over the districts of Buliisa, Hoima and Kikuube. 95 per cent of these have received compensation and financial literacy training so that they can get the full benefits of their compensation. 

Besides cash compensation, Project-Affected Persons (PAPs) in this area also enhanced their livelihood by getting involved in planting improved cassava stems, apiary projects and other agricultural services.

“Training is an important step in ensuring the PAPs (Project-Affected Persons) keep value from their compensation,” Ssekatawa wrote, adding that the PAPs were given access to bank accounts as well.

In another area, the Kingfisher Development Area, 727 PAPs live across 1,020 acres of Hoima and Kikuube. This project has gone the furthest in compensation, with 99 per cent of the PAPs receiving compensation.

Project-Affected Persons (PAPs)
Replacement houses in Kikuube for Kingfisher Project for affected persons to be compensated for oil project Image Source: The Observer

291 PAPs received 5,000 chicks in September to help them develop poultry farming. Since 2020, people in this project area have had access to training, veterinary services, livestock feed and tree nurseries.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline project will affect 3,792 people along the line to trace the pipeline’s way.

The pipeline will run through 296 kilometres, taking in Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo, Kyotera and Rakai. It will cover 2,740 acres.

The EACOP will offer pre-compensation and compensation. The EACOP will table entitlement disclosures by the end of September 2021, and expect to complete payments by December 2021.

“Ultimately, the priority is to ensure a better way of life for the people affected by the oil and gas projects. A better life than the one they had before the projects started,” Ssekatawa says.

In keeping with this, the PAU has been careful to respect the right of PAPs to decide whether to take cash or compensation in kind. 

In-kind compensation includes land title and a new house with solar power, a kitchen with a chimney, a water harvester tank that holds 1,000 litres and a ventilated pit latrine.

Buliisa Oil Project Affected Persons Get Houses,
Buliisa Oil Project Affected Persons Get Houses, Image Source: Uganda Radio Network

Ssekatawa says that PAPs who opted to resettle in these homes have received them well. He says the new homes are a step up in living standards from the homes they had before the projects.

Government and oil companies also hold frequent discussions with PAPs so that any issues and questions about the compensation process are fielded and addressed. These discussions also allow the project implementers and government to share necessary news and updates with the people.

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