affected by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project in Lwengo Town
Council, Lwengo rural and Ndagwe sub-county have lost patience and returned to
the demarcated areas to cultivate crops.
The decision partly stems from the delayed compensation of
the affected families and lack of activity on the land because if the Coronavirus
Disease (COVID19) lockdown, which has impacted in their lives. Yisito Kayinga,
the Executive Director- Community Transformation Foundation Network (COTFONE),
says majority of the people affected by the pipeline project didn’t receive any
He says this has forced the affected people to return to their
land and cultivate maize, beans, tomatoes, sweet and Irish potatoes since they
are uncertain when the pipeline activities will resume. Kayinga says it is
unacceptable to keep the land and houses idle. Total Uganda contracted NewPlan
Limited to carry out the mapping and valuation exercise.
However, government suspended the oil pipeline project in
September 2019 following the collapse of Tullow-Total deal, which slowed the
project. In 2020, government entered a joint venture partnership and resumed
the project. The new deal was expected to be signed early this year.
However, the Energy and Mineral Developments
Minister, Mary Goretti Kitutu Kimono, says the matter was left to the president,
saying she has nothing much to comment on the matter at the moment. Although different Civil Society Organisations have advised
the affected residents to exercise patience and wait for the compensation
process, they have also asked government to openly announce its stand on the
Kayinga appealed to government to update the residents and their
local leaders about the progress of the pipeline.
//Cue in: ‘Gavumenti………………
Cue out…………byoya byanswa’
Cosma Kyebanja, Vincent Kasajja and Annet Nankasi are some of
the affected residents in Byanjiri village in Kitto parish in Lwengo Rural.
They say they could hardly feed their families in the Covid19 lockdown yet the
land was idle. George William Mutabaazi, the Lwengo Local Council LC V Chairperson,
says it will be difficult to control the Projected Affected Persons-PAPs whose
land has remained idle for long since the pipeline deal flopped.
that the suspension of the oil pipeline activities have since triggered mixed
feelings among the affected residents. Mutabaazi also reveals that
government hasn’t engaged the affected communities on the next course of
action, adding that the PAPs have to keep track of the pipeline process through
regular sensitisation, which is not done.
Godfrey Mutemba, the Lwengo District Environment Officer,
says the residents will not be compensated for the crops they have planted on
the land during the project break. He explains
that the compensation will only cover the crops that there were recorded in the
mapping and evaluation exercise.
//Cue in: ‘Twafunye
Cue out………twogerezeganye nabo,"//
He asks the residents to be patient and wait for New plan and
Total to resume the oil pipeline activities.
//Cue in: ‘Abantu bona…………
Cue out…………yafulumye dda’
In Kyotera, Agnes Namusiitwa, the Kakuuto Sub County female
Councilor, says government did not return to explain to the residents what was
happening. She explains that residents in six villages of Nkoni, Kiganga,
Bigada, Kyakachwere, Nabigasa and Kabigindu were left in space forcing them to
reuse their land.