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Oil Pipeline Route Affected Persons in Kyotera Protest Compensation Rates

The EACOP project players that include Total East Africa, Petroleum Authority of Uganda-PAU, New Plan among other contractors are currently engaging communities affected by the pipeline route, on its progress as well as simplifying the Resettlement Action Plan recently approved by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
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The disclosure teams of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project-EACOP are struggling to convince the project affected persons in Kyotera district to sign consent forms surrendering their properties to allow construction works to commence.

The EACOP project players that include Total East Africa, Petroleum Authority of Uganda-PAU, New Plan among other contractors are currently engaging communities affected by the pipeline route, on its progress as well as simplifying the Resettlement Action Plan recently approved by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

The engagement also includes disclosing the compensation entitlements of each of the Project Affected Person-PAP before they individually sign consent forms, allowing the companies to begin the construction works. In Kyotera district, the disclosure process is however facing hurdles as some of the affected persons are denying project implementers consent signatures on the evaluation and compensation forms.

But some of the PAPs were seen walking away from the meetings protesting what they describe as inappropriate compensation figures for their properties. 

Robert Birimuye, one of the PAPs in Nabigasa Sub-county argues that the compensation value attached to their properties is low compared to the current market costs. He is also disputing a framework that was used to calculate the compensation figures and demands a re-evaluation to attract reasonable payments for the affected persons.

According to him, an acre of land is being valued at 4 million Shillings, a coffee tree is costed at 33,000 Shillings and 1.5 million Shillings for local and improved varieties respectively, and that they are not convinced on how the fees were determined. 

//Cue in; (Luganda) “abantu babadde…

Cue out; ….kati lwebakilaba.”//  

Birimuye is also dissatisfied with the compensation rates developed by the District Land Board, which give varying figures for properties depending on where they are located. He demands that the project compensates them using a uniform rate.

Another area of the contention is the calculation of the disturbance allowance, which is an addition to the general figure of the compensation fees. According to the formula as contained in the approved Resettlement Action Plan, the affected persons will be given an extra 30 per cent of the general compensation fees as disturbance allowance.

However, a section of the recipients is demanding that the percentage is calculated per annum, for the three years, the compensation has delayed. Maria Najjagwe, another PAP at Kiganda village, in Kyotera district, argues that they have waited for a long period, which warrants them to have a disturbance allowance calculated for all the years they have not been able to utilise their land.

She indicates that the compensation figures disclosed to her are disappointing compared to what she was expecting and demands a review of the rates before the project construction works take off.

The EACOP field teams declined to comment about the protests by the PAPs, but Fred Bazalabusa, an Officer in Charge of land acquisition processes in the project recently told URN in an interview that the PAPs will be compensated on the rates as approved by the Chief Government Valuer after doing due diligence.

According to the project design reports, Kyotera district has a total of 524 Project Affected Persons, 13 of which will physically be displaced by the project which will also, take 232 acres of a total land area in the district.