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Compensation of oil pipeline affected persons to start next year

EACOP project. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The compensation of people affected by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, countrywide is expected to start early next year.

The 1,443km crude oil export pipeline will transport Uganda’s crude oil from Hoima in Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga port in Tanzania. It is envisaged to be the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world and will cross through 10 districts in Uganda, a distance of 296 kilometres and 25 districts in Tanzania, covering eight regions and 25 districts.

According to the agreed plan, it will start close to Lake Albert in Hoima through Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo, Kyotera and Rakai and cross the Tanzania border between Masaka and Bukoba, and traverse Tanzania through Kahama, Singida, Kondoa into Tanga.

Seith Muhumuza, the Head of Stakeholder Management-Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) says they have to expedite the process to ensure the PAPs get their payment at the beginning of next year.

Joy Akoli Atine, the programme officer Global Rights Alert applauded the compensation assurance adding that they will hold PAU to account for their promise.

She explains that Global Rights Alert will work jointly with other CSOs to ensure the natural resources of the country benefit the people. She adds that they are to monitor the implementation process to ensure the PAPs are fairly settled and compensated.

Robert Birimuye, one of the PAPs in Beteremu says that they have been waiting for over two years for compensation in vain. He says that the government should meet the PAPs before the compensation starts to iron out irregularities in the process. He adds that consultations ahead of the compensation will resolve various queries that could hinder the compensation process.

Yisito Kayinga, the Executive Director- Community Transformation Foundation Network (COTFONE), says not engaging the residents to discuss the payment terms may spark resistance.

He explains that they are not fighting the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project but are advocating for a fair deal between the PAPs and the government.

He adds that the residents have on different occasions proposed to lease their land to the government than selling it which was ignored.



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