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CSOs Snub East African Crude Oil Pipeline Assessment Report

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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. The pipeline envisaged to be the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world, will cross through 10 districts in Uganda, a distance of 296 kilometres and 25 districts in Tanzania, covering eight regions and 25 districts.
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The Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas (CSCO) has snubbed the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA ) on the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline, saying it is lacking in all aspects. 

James Muhindo, the National Coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and gas says t the assessment was based on provisions of the repealed National Environment Act, 1995 yet it is to be implemented under a new law which sets some new compliance requirements like minimizing , Greenhouse Gas Emissions and pollution controls  among others.  

//Cue in; “The report has… 

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Muhindo adds that the magnitude and sensitivity of the impacts are underrated in most parts of the report and ranked as non-significant.

Some of the critical issues which are said to be underrated include; impacts during operation phase such as leakages and spills, soil compaction and erosion, among others.

//Cue in; “The magnitude and… 

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Dickens Kamugisha, the Executive Director of Africa Institute for Energy Governance says while the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment report  highlights eighteen risks, it does details mitigation plans to avid the damage and how the said measures will be practically applied. 

Kamugisha stresses that the report seems to consider plans as mitigation measures and recommends that NEMA should advise the developers to analyses the impacts and propose mitigation measures. 

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They were responding to findings of the  study conducted on behalf of Total East Africa detailing likely Environmental and Social Issues from the pipelien which will tranport Uganda's Crude oil from Hoima to Tanga for export.

The report highlights the potential impacts of the pipeline on the economy, people, and the environment along the suggested route which, among others, has plants of conservation importance, one of which is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as vulnerable and six are on the Ugandan Red List as critically endangered.  

There are fears that the pipeline could affect 13 types of animals that are nationally and or globally rare and threatened.

They  include the Bohor reedbuck, African golden cat, hippopotamus and spot-necked otter, among others.

However, civil society players have challenged the report and raised 60 queries which they say need to be addressed before construction of the pipeline takes shape. 

The organizations also challenged the unjustified bigger right of way arguing that whereas the International best practices for a pipeline construction Right of way is 15 meters, the developers are suggesting 30 meters. 

They equally asked the developer to stipulate the recommended distance of homesteads and community businesses from the pipeline Right of way to ensure pipeline integrity, avoidance of accidents and vandalizing of the installations that lie above the ground.

Mubende District Chairperson Francis Kibuuka Amooti speaking on behalf of the local governments asked  NEMA to put special emphasis on protection water and biodiversity in the area.

He said the project seems to be passing through a number of wetlands which are the major sources of water to the water-stressed areas of Mubende, Gomba and Sembabule.  

Kibuuka cautions that if this area is poorly handled, it spells doom for the communities around.    

//Cue in; “Given the fact…

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NEMA and Petroleum Authority of Uganda is currently holding public hearings from different project affected areas. The public hearing was attended by the Civil Society ,  government entities and project affected persons, among others.  The hearings have so far been held in Kakumiro and Mubende districts.  

National Environment Management Authority Executive Director , Dr Tom Okurut says his Authority will study the different submissions to determine whether the project should be approved. NEMA is expected to make a decision by 15th December. 

Under the repealed law, NEMA  is required to take considerations from the Environment Social Impact Assessment(ESIA) public hearing to determine whether the planned project should proceed.

But the Environment and Social Impact Assessment Report indicates that the selection of the pipeline route considered the need to avoid environmentally and socially sensitive areas.

It says the pipeline will be constructed along existing infrastructure corridors where feasible. It adds that the project aims to cause no overall loss of plant and animal diversity. 

The  pipeline according to the reports is expected to have a number of benefits to the communities in the project area. Some of the benefits outlined in the report include, among others, the upgrade of  roads linked to the project and others.

It is also expected to generally  boost economic activities within the project affected areas in form of employment, training and purchase of goods and services.

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.

The pipeline envisaged to be the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world, will cross through 10 districts in Uganda, a distance of 296 kilometres and 25 districts in Tanzania, covering eight regions and 25 districts. 

According to the agreed plan, it will start close to Lake Albert in 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.