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Oil pipe compensation irks Lwengo residents

FILE PHOTO: Oil pipeline

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents who will be affected by the construction of the Oil Pipeline in Lwengo district are protesting the compensation procedures.

The residents raised their concerns during an awareness meeting held at Kyawagonya Village, in Lwengo Rural Sub County in Lwengo district on Thursday. The most affected villages include Kyawagonya, Kyalusese, and Kamusoga among other places in Lwengo rural sub-county, Lwengo district.

The meeting organized by Citizen Africa (CICOA) a civil society organization was intended at sensitizing masses about conservation of wetlands and forest resources in places where the pipeline will pass.

Godfrey Mutemba, the District Natural Resources officer told residents that people with property in wetlands and swamps will not be compensated.

Mutemba says that since wetlands and swamps land are owned by government they don’t expect anyone to claim ownership.

Residents say that is unfair to disregard them in the compensation program because they have land titles.

Some residents argue that for long they have been conducting activities and their livelihood has been dependent on the land.

Godfrey Kayondo, the Kyawagonya village chairperson says that they are worried of the delay in compensation.

He says that some people are concerned about being undervalued, saying that the compensation will not be enough to acquire property in new areas where they have to relocated.

Sam Muchunguzi the CICOA programs officer says that the companies that were contracted to dig the pipeline should be cautious about environmental degradation because people will suffer advance conditions when the environment is destroyed in the name of oil pipeline.

The Ugandan section of the pipeline is about 296km and passes through 10 districts, 25 sub-counties and 172 villages, of the total length of 1,443km from the proposed pump station in Hoima to Chongleani terminal near Tanga port on the Indian Ocean.

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