Accept Compensation or Lose Your Land’ Government of Uganda tells Tilenga PAPs

Wednesday, June 14th, 2023 | By

The government of Uganda has issued a one-month ultimatum to Project Affected Persons-PAPs under the Tilenga project to receive compensation or forcefully lose their land.

Up to 623 people in Kasenyi village in Buliisa District in western Ugandawere affected when government acquired 320 hectares of land in Kasenyi village in Ngwedu sub-county in Buliisa to pave way for the construction of the Tilenga central processing facility-CPF.  The facility will be used to process crude oil produced from Buliisa and Nwoya districts to extract water, gas and other impurities, before being piped to the refinery in Kabaale, Hoima District.

In addition to the CPF that will process 190,000 barrels of oil and 700,000 barrels of total liquid per day, the Tilenga project needs land for 426 well pads; 160 kilometers of flow lines which will transport crude oil and water from the wells to the CPF among others.

However, some of the PAPs have up to date rejected compensation from the government, protesting what they see as low compensation rates for their land and other properties.

Some of the PAPs have been compelled to drag the government to court of law.   The PAPs also resisted government attempts to settle them in areas with worse or no social services.

Some of the PAPs were offered between 3.5 and 5 million Ugandan Shillings per acre of land in 2017 while others demanded between 10 to 20 million Ugandan Shillings per acre of land. 

Ruth Nankabirwa, the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development issued the one-month ultimatum on Monday, June 12, while officiating at the handover ceremony of 105 houses constructed for some of the PAPs at Kirama village in Kigwera Sub County, Buliisa District.

The minister warned that government has no other option but to forcefully take over the land should the PAPs reject the compensation money.

According to Nankabirwa, the government will not tolerate any delays in the progress of the oil and gas sector beyond July 31, cautioning all PAPs who have rejected compensation money due to various factors to cooperate with the government and accept to be compensated as per the compensation rate adopted by the chief government valuer.

She says beyond July 31, the government will forcefully access and establish oil-related projects on all the pieces of land acquired for oil developments in Buliisa and the entire Bunyoro sub-region. She says government will deposit the money for the PAPs who have rejected the compensation with courts of law and take over the land forcefully.

Nankabirwa said the PAPs can drag the government to court but it will not allow any frustration in the oil and gas developments.

She said that for the case of Tilenga, the government has failed to trace six project-affected persons while 27 other PAPs are embroiled in family wrangles on who exactly should get the compensation money.

Story by Uganda Radio Network