Hoima, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 41 percent of the Project affected persons-PAPs under the East African Crude Oil pipeline-EACOP project have been fully compensated in Uganda. There are 3,648 project affected persons-PAPs under the EACOP project in Uganda.
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 kilometers and 25 districts in Tanzania, covering eight regions and 25 districts.
The government rolled out the program of acquiring land for the project in August 2018.
According to the agreed plan, the pipeline route will begin from 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.
The governments of Uganda and Tanzania signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA)for the EACOP Project on 26 May 2017.
John bosco Habumugisha, the deputy managing director of the East African crude oil pipeline-EACOP in an exclusive interview with Uganda Radio network explains that so far 41percent of the project affected persons in the country have fully been compensated to pave way for the construction works adding that in the next three months they will be able to compensate up to 90 percent.
He however cannot specify the amount of money government has so far spent on the compensation of the project affected persons.
Habumugisha says there are delays in the compensation processes due to a number of factors citing absence of National Identification Cards for some of the project affected persons yet the National ID is a pre-requisite for the PAPs to be compensated.
The other factor he says is affecting the compensation process is the struggle to get letters of administration for some of the land owners who died before the compensation process started.
He adds that some PAPs who opted for resettlement have changed their minds and are now opting for cash compensation saying all these factors among others are frustrating their efforts to have the project affected persons compensated in time.
According to Habumugisha, in the first and second phases of the resettlement action plan of the EACOP project, they intend to construct more than 90 houses for the project affected persons who opted to be resettled and in the last phase they intend to construct 50 more houses for the PAPs.
Despite having successfully compensated the 41 percent of the project affected persons, many others are still protesting delays by the government to compensate them for their land.
Jacob Atagwireho, a resident of Buliisa, says for the past three years since government acquired his one-acre piece of land for the EACOP project, he stopped using the land yet he has not yet compensated to date.
Joseph Kyamanywa, also a project affected person in Buhirigi village in Bombo sub-county in Hoima district calls on the leaders and the government to get interested in the EACOP compensation processes and save residents from over exploitation by the project implementers since they have taken long without being compensated for their land.
In November last year, people affected by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline EACOP project in the Bunyoro sub-region protested the delays by the government to compensate them for their land.
According to the residents then, government acquired their land in 2018 to implement the EACOP project, but the it hasn’t compensated them yet they stopped using the land.