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Social impacts

  • Douglas Oluoch

    Nwoya man cursed by oil

    Douglas Oluoch (Photo: Emil H.)

    PURONGO SUB-COUNTY, NWOYA DISTRICT: What started as a company official taking advantage of a naive resident and duping him to accept his land to be used as a waste dumping site in exchange for a small fee, has developed into a complex social issue, leaving the victim isolated and scared for his life. Read More

  • Yoweri point to what is left

    “My cows were killed by oil waste”

    Yoweri stands in what is left of the ‘killer’ pit, pointing at the stagnant water that he claims killed his livestock ten years ago. The pit has filled up over the years but traces of a greenish liquid can still be seen(Photo: Emil H.) 

    RWEBISENGO SUB-COUNTY, NTOROKO DISTRICT:  This area is part of Exploration Area (EA) 3A in the Semliki Basin, which was first licensed to Heritage Oil and Gas Ltd. in 1997, and later re-licensed to the same company in 2002. Read More

  • Pincho

    “Total owes me a house”

    Richard Picho poses with his children in what is left of his house. After  waiting for over a year for Total to compensate him, he decided to take the house down a few weeks ago to salvage some of the materials which he will use to build a new house. (Photo: Emil H).

    ALUI SUB-COUNTY, NEBBI DISTRICT: A family whose houses developed cracks in the walls after Total passed through their land while collecting seismic data last year is calling on the oil company to compensate them for their loss. Read More

  • A street in Hoima Town

    Hoima town feels the strain of a high population

    New buildings are coming up in Hoima town, and so are new people from across the country.

    As more people flock to Hoima town in pursuit of oil opportunities, municipal officials are increasingly getting concerned about the town’s lack of capacity to handle the massive waste that comes  with a high population. Read More

  • Kanara town in Ntoroko District (Photo: Emil Hougaard)

    Ntoroko locals await oil news

    Kanara town in Ntoroko District (Photo: Emil Hougaard)

    More than one year after the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) failed to find oil in its Kanywataba prospect, residents of Kanara and Rwebisengo sub-counties in Ntoroko district remain confused on the status of ‘their’ oil resources. Read More

  • Compensation of refinery residents commences

    Esther Igonja, of Congolese origin, has spent 50 of her 80 years in Kabaale Parish—but will now have to give way for the construction of the oil refinery. (Picture: FW)

    Implementation of the first phase of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) kicked off early this month and will end with the 7,118 residents of the thirteen Hoima villages on whose land the oil refinery will be built being compensated for their property, or relocated.

    The seventy billion shillings project (about 27 million dollars) is being implemented by Strategic Friends International, a local consultancy firm. Read More

  • Ugandan-shilling

    Oil money lures sex workers to Hoima

    Across the world, infrastructure projects that employ large numbers of men soon attract a camp following of sex workers.  It is now happening in Hoima.

    “I can’t leave with you now but I can come to your hotel in the morning and we spend the whole day together.”

    So says Sarah (not her real name) a ‘waitress’ in a down-town Hoima bar. She says she would get into big trouble if she left without the permission of her boss—an elderly lady who, according to staff and customers, is of Rwandese origin. All dealings with men have to be cleared by the boss. Read More

  • Fisherman guts his catch on Lake Albert

    Is Uganda ready to handle oil waste?

    A Lake Albert fisherman guts his catch. The fishing sector  will be  one of the   casualities of poor oil waste management in the Albertine. (Photo: Thomas White)

    With the government estimating that Uganda’s Albertine Graben holds at least 3.5 billion barrels of oil, expectations of many Ugandans are high—but so too are fears of environmental damage.

    Other natural resources already generate revenue in the oil-rich region.  It is home to premier tourist destinations, including the Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls and Semiliki national parks. And, experts agree, it is also an ecologically ‘sensitive’ area.

    A major oil spill or a fire at an oil well could result in environmental catastrophe.  But, as well as fearing such a nightmare scenario, Ugandan environmentalists also worry about how the country will manage a predictable and certain result of oil production—the generation of large amounts of oil waste. Read More

  • A cloudy day in Buseruka, Hoima District. (Photo: Thomas White)

    Compensation remains thorny issue in oil regions

    A cloudy day in Buseruka, Hoima District. (Photo: Thomas White)

    “We are frustrated since we have not received fair pay in compensation for our properties,” complains Albert Wathum, a resident of Panyimur fishing village on the shores of Lake Albert in Nebbi District.

    He claims that since Total E&P began exploring in the area, many gardens and homesteads have been destroyed in the process of surveying, building access roads and constructing oil well pads. Residents expected compensation but, according to some, what they received was peanuts.

    “Usually, a grown mango tree can fetch up to 120,000 shillings (USD 46) but we are being given 80,000. A cassava garden for instance acts like a source of food and income but is being compensated at only 120,000,” according to Mr. Wathum, who sounds more frustrated than other locals in the village. Read More

  • Image: Rhino Camp youths

    Disappointed Rhino Camp locals still hope for oil

     

    Rhino Camp residents are eager for information about oil

    OYO VILLAGE, RHINO CAMP SUB-COUNTY, ARUA DISTRICT:  Three years ago, Neptune Petroleum drilled the 780 metre deep Avivi-1 exploration well on the outskirts of this village, in search of oil.  The well did not find any.  This was the second disappointment for Neptune, which held the exploration licence for the Rhino Camp basin, and had already sunk a dry well, Iti-1, in nearby Rigbo sub-county. After a third well, drilled last year, also proved dry, the company’s licence ran out, leaving it with nothing to show for an estimated US$ 50 million spent on the exploration effort. Read More