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  • Leo and Stella

    Compensated families struggle with their millions

    Leo Kato and first wife Stella Kahangwe with one of their children

    2473 property owners in Hoima’s Kabaale parish are presently receiving compensation for their land and property to make way for the country’s first crude oil refinery. Read More

  • Mining licenses in Karamoja (Source: HRW)

    Amend Mining, Land Acts

    Mining licenses in Karamoja (Source: HRW)

    The Human Rights Watch has challenged the Uganda government to amend the country’s Mining and Land Acts so that communities can derive due benefits from ongoing mining activities in their areas. Read More

  • Two men merry making in Kyapaloni town, Kabaale parish, Hoima. (Photo: Chris Opio)

    Refinery residents blow compensation on booze, motorcycles

    Two men merry making in Kyapaloni town, Kabaale parish, Hoima. (Photo: Chris Opio)

    A good number of the compensated refinery area residents are spending their money on luxuries, ignoring lessons from a crash course in financial management and investment that the government took them through last year to prepare them for the windfall. Read More

  • Women in Kyapaloni market which lies with the refinery area and will be re-located too

    Compensation: Some refinery area women could lose it all

    Some of the Kabaale Parish residents who turned up to register their complaints about the compensation process

    “He came back because of oil. When he heard about the refinery plan, he returned to get the compensation money.” Read More

  • Innocent-Tumwebaze-from-refinery-area-303x250

    Refinery residents unhappy with compensation process

    Innocent Tumwebaze claims he was attacked by security officials in Kitegwa village when they found him encouraging the villagers to stand up for their rights.

    The first phase of the ongoing implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) in Hoima District is facing resistance from some angry residents, with some of them threatening to take the government to court over unfair compensation of their property. They are also claiming that government agents are harassing them and coercing them into signing consent forms. 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

  • Florence Akumu used the money to feed her five children for about five months.

    Compensation brings temporary excitement to Buliisa locals

     OGWENDO SUB-COUNTY, BULIISA DISTRICT: Located about 16 kilometres from Buliisa town, this quiet agricultural village is dotted with small mud houses, most of them roofed with shiny aluminium sheets.

    There is a stark contrast between the greyish, peeling, aging walls of the small houses and the brand new sheets they are roofed with.

    “The compensation money excites people here,” says Onencan Paolyel, who runs a local community based organisation in Buliisa town council. “They buy motorcycles and mabati (roofing sheets).” 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

  • His Excellency Patrick Edwards

    Resource wealth can cause re-colonisation, warns Envoy

    His Excellency Patrick Edwards

    Resource rich countries in Africa are at risk of a new form of colonization unless they check the alarming rate at which foreigners are taking over their land, says the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago to Uganda.

    In an exclusive interview at the sidelines of the East African Petroleum Conference (EAPC) in Arusha last month, His Excellency Patrick Edwards, also revealed to Oil in Uganda that his country was bidding for the recently tendered Eldoret-Kampala pipeline project.

    “Re-colonization is not necessarily political colonization but economic and social colonization,” he explained. “One has to be careful, there has been a scramble for Africa in the 19th century. The major scramble has been from the former European countries. You have all these countries returning here (Africa) because the developed world is declining economically and they have problems of employment and monetary issues. They are all running back to Africa for salvation,” he said. Read More

  • Image: the Ondiek exploration well

    Hope and frustration in Nebbi, Uganda’s new oil frontier

    This is as close as one can approach Ondiek well without attracting the attention of security guards.

    PANYIMUR SUB-COUNTY, NEBBI DISTRICT:   “It came around Christmas time” says Sylvester Odongo, LC-1 chairman of Abok village, referring to the red and white drilling rig that towers over the bush a few hundred metres from his compound of four, grass-thatched huts.

    It doesn’t trouble them much in the day, he adds—except that when villagers get close to the fenced-off rig, to tend their gardens of cassava and cotton, security guards order them away. Then, at dusk, extra generators kick in to light up the 24-7 drilling operation.  “The noise is terrible and it’s really hard to sleep” the tired chairman complains. Read More