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CNOOC faces Hoima residents

CNOOC officials sharing notes during the hearing on June 21.

The oil and gas sector continues to interest different players hoping to make some money out of it.

Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | At one of the events organised by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda and National Environment Management Authority, a big crowd of 8, 000 people attended to raise their concerns.

It was the Kingfisher Development Project (KDP) Public Hearing held at Kabaale Public Primary School in Buseruka, Hoima district on June 21.  It was held for the locals to give comments on the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment report that was done by China National Offshore Oil Corporation, one of the companies licensed to extract oil out of the Albertine Graben.

The participants, hailing from Hoima and the neighboring districts raised concerns regarding land acquisition, employment and skills development, education and business related opportunities.

The KDP will include building a feeder pipeline to transport crude oil from Buhuka to the delivery point in the proposed industrial park in Kabaale village in Hoima. The production facilities for the project will include four onshore well pads, a central processing facility (CPF), production flow lines and water injection flow lines linking wells to the CPF and the lake water abstraction plant. Other facilities include camps, a materials yard, a jetty and internal access roads.

Pius Wakabi Rujumba, the Member of Parliament for Bugahya, Hoima district urged CNOOC to consider the locals for employment opportunities in the KDP project. He also asked the oil company to consider setting up a technical institute in the area to equip locals with skills needed by sector players.

Edgar Buhanga, the senior planning and environmental impact assessment coordinator at Uganda Wildlife Authority said they dropped plans to construct an oil road running through Bugoma forest because it would threaten lives of species of animals like chimpanzees.

On the threat of polluting the water in Lake Albert which is the habitat for hippos and crocodiles, Buhanga said stakeholders had made provisions to ensure these species were safe and protected.

Moses Ronald Oteng, the land acquisition supervisor at CNOOC said land acquisition grievances and compensation matters are handled in a transparent manner.

“…a good number of vulnerable people have been compensated regardless of the vulnerability status,” Oteng said adding, “That some had passed on but there were procedures in place for their families to receive their compensation.”

CNOOC has conducted financial literacy workshops to equip land compensation beneficiaries with knowledge for spending their money. It has also sponsored students at various institutions of learning and trained teachers in schools.

“CNOOC is committed to ensuring efficient development of the Kingfisher Development Project” Aminah Bukenya, the senior public relations and supervisor at CNOOC said. CNOOC alongside other oil companies are working with a plan to extract approx. 6.5billion barrels of oil resource discovered in 2006 in the entire Albertine Graben.

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