Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Oil companies operating in the Albertine region have been faulted for not employing the natives from the region.
Speaking during the second and last Public hearing for the Kingfisher Environmental and social impact Assessment-ESIA report for the proposed oil development projects on Friday at Kabale Public Primary school in Buseruka Sub-county Hoima district, Bunyoro leaders said that the natives are educated and qualify for some jobs in the oil sector.
Kadir Kirungi, the Hoima district LC5 Chairperson says a number of Indigenous Banyoro who applied for various jobs in the oil companies have not been considered even when they have the required qualifications.
He wonders why the casual work should be done by the foreigners.
Pius Wakabi, the Bugahya county Member of Parliament says it is high time leaders in Bunyoro rose up and demanded for the full implementation of the Local content policy.
He says a number of oil companies have been accused of extorting money from the natives in order to secure those jobs in their companies.
Fred Mugenyi the Head of Babiito clan, in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, who represented the Prime Minister Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, says the oil companies should give first priority to the people of Bunyoro in areas where oil activities are taking place.
Matayo Kyaligonza, the National content supervisor at CNOOC says they have always endeavored to offer the first job priorities to the local people around adding that CNOOC as a company does not request for bribes in order to offer employment to Ugandans.
He promised to follow up the issues of extortion calling upon the public to report such cases to their offices for action to be taken.
A number of the residents who attended the meeting faulted oil companies over extortion and not doing enough to promote environmental conservation, yet their activities are posing a great danger to environment and biodiversity.
Albert Okethwengu said farmers should be supported to deal with the challenges that oil exploration brings to their activities.
Enock Nyakonde wonders why companies have gone ahead to purchase food from Kampala and other regions and yet the area has the capacity of supplying the oil companies with food.
Christine Akello, the Deputy Executive Director National Environment Management Authority –NEMA says NEMA has developed a number of frameworks and interventions focused on ensuring observance of proper Environmental safeguards in the planning and execution of all oil and gas activities in the Albertine region.
Adi Nyoman, the Environment Manager CNOOC Uganda Limited says CNOOC is doing all it can to ensure that their activities do not affect the environment.
The ESIA studies are carried out to establish the potential positive and negative social and environmental impacts of the proposed projects. Cnooc Uganda is the lead operator of Kingfisher oil field.
Total E&P and Tullow Uganda and Cnooc Uganda are joint venture partners in Uganda’s oil and gas sector.
The oil companies plan to set up a number of facilities in Buhuka parish in Kikuube to extract oil from the Kingfisher fields.
They include a central processing facility (CPF), four well pads holding 31 production and water injection wells, an airstrip, jetty, flow lines, construction material yard, and camps and access roads.
The public hearings are meant to get more views from stakeholders and their opinions are expected to enrich the ESIA report during the review process.