Government of Uganda Approves Construction of East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline amidst delayed and unfair compensation

Rev. Fred Musimenta is among the affected persons in Butimba Village, Kizirafumbi Sub County in Kikuube district that have not yet been compensated for their land earmarked for the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

According to Rev. Musimenta, he resolved to halt signing of evaluation and compensation forms pending response to his complaints about unfair compensation.

“My property was undervalued and I refused to sign for that little compensation. The evaluation rates that were used were not current, since then nothing has been done,” said Rev. Musimenta.

80-year old Norah Kakenge, another project affected person from Butimba village also wonders why the compensation has been delayed and fears that she might die before receiving her package.

“I am staying with orphans. My land was being used as collateral in the bank to get loan for school fees and now I am not able to do it. It has since affected me that I have nowhere to get money from and these delays make me fear that I might die before I receive it,” she said.

Eng. Herbert Magezi Mugizi, the Principle Engineer in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development – MEMD disclosed that close to 68 percent of the PAPs have already been compensated while the pending compensations are expected to be concluded by the end of 2023

Despite the delays, cabinet has approved the application by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company Limited for a license for the construction of the 1,443 km long East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline in Uganda.

Addressing a press conference on 19th February, Mr. Magezi, said the approval of the applicable license now grants the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company Limited legal access to start actual construction.

Rev. Musimenta says the green light to pipeline construction leaves them in fear that they will be compromised into consenting to the unfair compensation values as they have done to some of their colleagues.

The land acquisition program for the said project was rolled out in August 2018 and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) promised to start compensation in early 2021. However, until today, the project-affected persons have not received compensation, even though they were stopped from using their land.

Kikuube Vice Chairperson, Vincent Opio said people’s livelihoods and development progress have been affected by delayed compensation urging the government to accelerate the compensation process for the smooth running of the project. 

NEW DIRECTOR FOR ROSA LUXEMBURG FOUNDATION FOR EAST AFRICA TOURS NAPE SUPPORTED ACTIVITIES

The new Director for Rosa Luxemburg Foundation for East Africa, Katrin Voss has commended the efforts of Community Green Radio and communities in promoting human rights and preserving indigenous seeds for food sovereignty in Albertine Region.

Ms.Katrin and Mr.Samuel Kasirye, the Rosa Program Coordinator for Uganda were on a 2-day tour to Community Green Radio and Sustainability Members supported by RLS through National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) in Kiboga, Hoima, Kikuube and Buliisa districts.

During her tour, Ms.Katrin was treated to exhibitions of indigenous food species and eco-friendly projects carried out by listeners clubs and sustainability school members to promote food sovereignty and conserve the environment.

At Community Green Radio, the Listeners Club Members exhibited packed honey, tradition crafts and rabbits. Sarah Kamyuka, the chairperson of Kapeke Listeners club said they listen and put into practice what they learn on radio and also share with others. She said each listeners club has a project they are carrying out to act as role models through improved livelihoods and environmental conservation.

In Butimba, Lucy Mbuubi, a member of Butimba Sustainability School said NAPE has supported them in fighting for human rights and promoting food sovereignty. They exhibited indigenous maize, ground nuts, beans, millet and sorghum that the group is conserving and promoting in communities.

In Buliisa; Alice Kazimura, the Director for Kakindo Women’s Integrated Development Association (KAWIDA) said the district has become a hub of industrialization as a result of oil boom which has in turn led to land conflicts; increased gender based violence and led t food insecurity. She said the communities with support from ROSA through NAPE have played a big role in sensitizing communities about the challenges and finding solutions. The group exhibited indigenous cassava, sweet potatoes, beans and pumpkins the group is promoting.

Katrin said she was impressed that the communities are actively taking part in conserving the indigenous seeds which are resilient to climate changes and can promote food sovereignty in homes.

She said she was shocked by what capitalists are doing the country; taking away land for industrialization, forcing land titling to communities and introducing Genetically modified seeds which in turn are largely contributing to violence against women, threatening food insecurity and causing injustices on land.

She said she is equally happy that the communities especially women are aware of the challenges and taking swift efforts to solve the problems.

“I am proud of you! Seeing you strong and standing together in solidarity to fight against violence against women, taking care of local seeds and finding solutions, I feel so impressed. And I encourage you to continue saving the seeds, have kitchen gardens to maintain food security and continue protecting women against violence caused by developments,” she said.

She pledged Rosa’s commitment to continue supporting the communities.

“Rosa will not stop supporting the projects and we are proud of you!” she said addressing communities in Kikuube, Hoima and Buliisa districts in separate engagements.

Government of Uganda Approves License Application to Construct East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline

Cabinet of Uganda has approved the application by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company Limited for a license for the construction of the 296 km long East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline in Uganda.  

The State Minister of Information Communication Technology – ICT and National Guidance, Godfrey Baluku Kabyanga, and officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development communicated the development at a press conference at the Uganda Media Centre on Thursday.

Kabyanga said that Cabinet approved the application on Monday, indicating that the new corridor linking the two countries will bring benefits including the development of new infrastructure, logistics, and technology transfer as well as improving the livelihoods of communities along the route.

Eng. Herbert Magezi Mugizi, the Principle Engineer in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development – MEMD, said the approval of the applicable license now grants the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company Limited legal access to start actual construction.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline project will displace at least 118, 348 persons (56,460 in Uganda and 61,889 in Tanzania). However, challenges relating to land acquisition due to contestations of valuations by the project-affected persons – PAPs still remain eminent.  

Eng. Magezi disclosed that close to 68 percent of the PAPs have already been compensated while the pending compensations are expected to be concluded by the end of 2023.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development says the engineering detail currently stands at 33 percent and major procurements have been awarded by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company Limited for the purchase of line pipes, high voltage, and marine cables, among others.

The approved pipeline construction project, that will consume about 2,740 acres of land, was awarded to a private company, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company Limited. The overall 1,443 km pipeline runs from Hoima district in western Uganda to the Port neighboring Tanzania.

The crude oil project which is worth 13.248 trillion Shillings (USD 3.6 million) traverses 171 villages across 10 districts of Kabaale, Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Ggomba, Ssembabuule, Lwengo, Rakai and Kyotera.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company Limited has a shareholding of 62 percent from Total Energies while 15 percent will come from the host Government of Uganda through the National Oil Company.

Equally, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania owns 15 percent shares through the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation – TPDC, and 8 percent shares for China National Offshore Oil Company – CNOOC Uganda Ltd.

Notably, on September 15, 2022, the European Parliament passed a controversial “emergency resolution” by a large majority denouncing the consequences of Uganda’s oil projects citing specifically Tilenga and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

The resolution called for the immediate suspension of drilling activities in the protected and sensitive ecosystem (Murchison Falls National Park) and the postponement of the EACOP project for at least one year to allow a feasibility study of an alternative path to preserve the environment. 
However, two months later on November 2, 2022, the “emergency resolution” was overturned during the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of the African, Caribbean, Pacific – European Union (ACP-EU) sitting in Maputo, Mozambique. The Assembly voted to let Uganda proceed with developing the Pipeline Project.

CREDIT: URN

GOVERNMENT HAS OPPRESSED ME BUT I AM NOT READY TO GIVE UP – BULIISA OIL CENTRAL PROCESSING FACILITY PAP

During our phone conversation, Jelous Mugisa Mulimba sounded disgruntled and exhausted but not ready to give up on fighting for adequate compensation.

 “Let government take that cash compensation forever, I want a house not money!” he repeatedly emphasized as he hung up on phone.

Mulimba, 50, a family head of nine people is among seven people that are battling a court case for allegedly sabotaging a government project after they protested against inadequate compensation of their land.

His land is part of a 772-acre piece of land that was acquired by government in 2017 to host an Oil Central Processing Facility currently under construction in Kasinyi village, Ngwedo Sub County in Buliisa district.

“I opted for land compensation but to my surprise during disclosure to know the value of property affected by the project, I was told that I was to take cash compensation,” he said. “I dint understand why government was forcing me to take what I dint ask for. I and my wife insisted that we are not taking cash,” he added.

Mulimba said that he was then summoned to court in Masindi by the Attorney General.

The Attoney General wanted government to deposit their compensation money in court and allow the project to proceed.

“The members of our family accepted the compensation of the family land measuring 13 acres with each at 3.5 million shillings and disturbance allowance of 30 percent but for me I refused,” he explained.

According to Mugisha, on 30th April 2021, he and other respondents lost the case. He noted that with assistance of some NGO, they appealed but the case has never been heard.

“Since then, the case has not been heard. The NGO that took over our case tells us that they refused to fix the date for hearing. We are stuck but we have not given up,” noted Mulimba.

Mulimba said he is currently faced by threats and intimidation from government officials who think he is sabotaging government programs. However, Mulimba says he is not ready to give up on fighting for his rights.

“I want to leave a legacy for my children. They will live to know that I fought for their rights. I will not take that money. Let government take in if it wants,” he said.

PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’S DELAYED PROMISES IRK STARVING EVICTED RESIDENTS IN KYANKWANZI

At 63, Mrs. Teopista Nakamanyiro, a widow and a resident of Kiyuni village in Kyankwanzi district was sure that her 3 acres of coffee would sustain her livelihood in her old age.

She narrates that in a good harvesting season; she would earn a minimum of 3,000,000 Ugandan shillings throughout the season. But this retirement plan was cut short in February 2022 when the graders and excavators razed down her coffee plantation that has sustained her livelihood for years.

Nakamanyiro is among over 300 families whose gardens were destroyed following a forced eviction in Gayaza Sub County in Kyankwanzi district.

The affected residents are from Kyerere North, Kyerere East, Kiyuni central, Kiryajobyo west, and Kibanda villages. They are feuding with Linda Nyakairima, the widow of the late Internal Affairs Minister Gen.Aronda Nyakairima who is alleged to have fraudulently acquired a title for the land measuring about 5 square miles.

In July last year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni promised to compensate Linda so that people will get back their land. The president’s message was delivered by the Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Judith Nabakooba who visited the affected residents and also assured them of compensation of their destroyed crops.

However, the process of compensation seems to be slow yet the affected residents are in dire need of food.

“When we tried to follow up, the Minister told us that the president gave an order without readily available source of money for compensation. This left us in confusion. This means that the people will not get back to their land soon yet they have no food,” said Leosam Sebalunzi, the LCIII Chairperson for Gayaza Sub County.

Dr. John Mpuuga, the Kyankwanzi LCV chairperson said, “Minister Nabakooba delivered President’s message on compensation without verifying the source of money. She raised the false hopes of the affected residents who are currently languishing in starvation and lack of livelihood.”

Dr. Mpuuga said the government should expedite the process of compensation so that people go back to their land.

In December 2022, during her visit to Kiboga, Nabakooba noted that the issue of compensation is being handled by the president’s office and will soon be sorted.

Affected residents at the verge of starvation

The graders and excavators destroyed the crops including banana plantations, beans, maize, mangoes, cassava, coffee, jackfruit and rice planted by the residents.

“From the time our crops were destroyed, I am struggling to feed my children. Though the gardens were destroyed, the houses were left untouched. So our houses are surrounded by crops of people hired to till the land. And this is tempting. You cannot stop a hungry child from stealing maize planted in your compound. This leaves me in fear of being arrested,” said thoughtful Nakamanyiro.

Gayaza LC111 chairperson, Leosam Ssebalunzi said the residents are struggling to survive without food. He notes that they were denied access to their gardens by the soldiers who were deployed on the disputed land and outsiders who were hired to till the land.

He called upon the government to supply them with food and other basic necessities as they wait for the compensation.

COMMUNITY GREEN APPRECIATED FOR ITS ROLE IN THE 2022 KIBOGA HEALTH CAMP

Kiboga West member of Parliament, Abdul Mutumba Ssettuba has appreciated and recognized the contribution made by Community Green Radio towards the recently held health Camp in Kiboga Town. The MP, together with other stakeholders organized a health camp on 17 and 18 December 2022 in Kiboga town and the radio played a central role in mobilizing masses for the camp. Various ailments were diagnosed and treated.

In recognition of the radio’s role, the MP has today delivered a certificate of appreciation to the radio. The certificate was handed over to the Station Manager, Julius Kyamanywa by Kiboga Town Council Chairperson Henry Kagali.

While handing over the certificate, Mr. Kagali, who chaired the organized committee of the camp, thanked the radio for serving the communities.

“Honorable Mutumba and I are very pleased with the contribution you made and it’s the reason the camp was a success. Your resolve to serve communities is highly commendable”, Kagali said while at the radio premises in Kiboga.

The station Manager, Kyamanywa Julius appreciated the MP and the organizing committee for recognizing the work of the radio. He pledged continued support to similar causes that are aimed at empowering communities, especially the vulnerable women, children and the poor.

DONT BE INTIMATED BY LAND GRABBERS; NABAKOOBA TELLS KIBOGA RESIDENTS

The Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Judith Nabakooba has said the government is profiling powerful individuals involved in land grabbing across the country.

Speaking to residents and local leaders in Kiboga District on December 14, Nabakooba expressed concern that some wealthy people and powerful government officials are directly involved in land grabbing while others are doing it through their well-connected agents.

“Some top government officials have gone ahead to grab land that accommodates government institutions with the sole aim of hoodwinking the government to use the Land Fund to pay them. We have concrete information about this clandestine move and we will not allow it to happen,” the minister told a gathering at the district headquarters.

Nabakooba said those fuelling land conflicts and evicting poor sitting tenants are enemies of the ruling NRM government.

“I recall very well that since the NRM government took over power in 1986, people have been saying we can sleep however much we are poor and now the enemies are struggling to take that away by evicting the wanainchi (citizens) from their ancestral land”, Nabakoba observed as she voiced assurance that government is now determined to defend the peasants. 

She asked the residents to stop being intimidated by land grabbers and fight on in defending their land by using the relevant offices.

Kiboga West Member of Parliament, Abdul Mutumba said land in Kiboga, especially public land, has been targeted by land grabbers who take advantage of the vulnerable occupants staying there on lease basis.

He called on government to protect people and the land for peace to prevail.

NAPE RALLIES WOMEN TO RAISE VOICES AND BE EMPOWERED TO LEAD THE FIGHT AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE DRIVEN BY CLIMATE CHANGE

On 25th November 2022, Uganda joined the rest of the world in 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The campaign kicks off on International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women and runs till December 10th, the Human rights day.

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) in collaboration with other partners participated in the campaign with grassroots women, rising awareness on how climate change contributes to gender based violence and how women can spearhead the fight against all forms of gender based violence.

NAPE held two awareness raising meetings; one for women from oil-rich districts in Hoima, Kikuube, Buliisa, Amuru and Nwoya who are affected by oil extractives and large plantations which was held in Hoima district; and another with the fisher folk in the suburbs of Munyonyo landing site.

During the meeting in Hoima, the women stressed that women and girls are largely impacted by the effects of climate change since they are more reliant on natural resources to support their livelihoods.

 “Like in Amuru, there has been abnormal rainfall affecting the crops in the garden. This is already causing violence in families due to economic hardships and looming food insecurity since we largely depend on agriculture for our livelihood,” said Owek Jenifer from Amuru district.

“Floods in Buliisa district have caused displacements fuelling gender based violence. Young girls in areas hardly hit by floods have dropped out of schools and married off at a young age while women have been left with the burden of sole responsibility of the children. Besides that, drought affects the districts and it leaves cattle dead and crops dried up leading to economic hardships and food insecurity. These heavily affect women,” said Ms.Elinah Kaahwa from Buliisa.

However, the women said they are determined to stand up together and find solutions for sustainable development and overcoming the challenges. The women also call on government to implement punitive measures that apprehend GBV perpetrators.

“We need to work together to improve our sources of income so that we can educate our children, we highly depend on natural resources because we did not go to school to get better jobs. We also need to engage in making charcoal briquettes and energy saving stoves to reduce risks that women and girls face while walking long distances to look for firewood and water,” said Christine Nyangoma from Hoima.

The meeting at Munyonyo landing site was organised by NAPE together with SIMMA Africa for Creative Arts, Girls for Climate Action and Fridays for Future Uganda who are jointly implementing PISCCA project, “Towards an Intergenerational and Creative Feminist Movement in Uganda” with support from French Embassy under Gender and Climate coalition.

The fisher folk noted that climate change accelerates Gender Based Violence within the fishing communities when they don’t catch enough. The women noted that the biggest challenge is fellow women not supporting victims and looking at them as the cause of violence based on their dress code.

They also noted how the fish catchment has reduced which causes physical fights at the landing site as they struggle to get what to sale and be able to fend for their families. The girls that work in the bars expressed how they are unsafe due to the nature of their job and how men think that by virtue of doing the job they have consented to all forms of sexual advances whereas not and yet their bosses think this should be fine with them.

“Men need to be sensitized as change agents for gender based violence since they are the perpetrators and degraders of the environment,” said a fish vendor at Mulungu landing site.

Joan Akiiza, the senior Gender and legal affairs officer at NAPE noted that gender issues are magnified when climate crisis occurs, as women face the burden of increasing household responsibilities and are vulnerable to domestic and sexual violence.

She called upon women and girls to raise their voices and report all cases of GBV to police she shared with them a hotline to dial and report cases without suffering in silence to stop all forms of gender based violence that affect women and girls.

NAPE RALLIES WOMEN TO RAISE VOICES AND BE EMPOWERED TO LEAD THE FIGHT AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE DRIVEN BY CLIMATE CHANGE

On 25th November 2022, Uganda joined the rest of the world in 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The campaign kicks off on International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women and runs till December 10th, the Human rights day.

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) in collaboration with other partners participated in the campaign with grassroots women, rising awareness on how climate change contributes to gender based violence and how women can spearhead the fight against all forms of gender based violence.

NAPE held two awareness raising meetings; one for women from oil-rich districts in Hoima, Kikuube, Buliisa, Amuru and Nwoya who are affected by oil extractives and large plantations which was held in Hoima district; and another with the fisher folk in the suburbs of Munyonyo landing site.

During the meeting in Hoima, the women stressed that women and girls are largely impacted by the effects of climate change since they are more reliant on natural resources to support their livelihoods.

Daisy Kwikiriza, PWD representative from Buliisa district with an advocacy message against GBV

 “Like in Amuru, there has been abnormal rainfall affecting the crops in the garden. This is already causing violence in families due to economic hardships and looming food insecurity since we largely depend on agriculture for our livelihood,” said Owek Jenifer from Amuru district.

“Floods in Buliisa district have caused displacements fuelling gender based violence. Young girls in areas hardly hit by floods have dropped out of schools and married off at a young age while women have been left with the burden of sole responsibility of the children. Besides that, drought affects the districts and it leaves cattle dead and crops dried up leading to economic hardships and food insecurity. These heavily affect women,” said Kaahwa Elina from Buliisa.

However, the women said they are determined to stand up together and find solutions for sustainable development and overcoming the challenges. The women also call on government to implement punitive measures that apprehend GBV perpetrators.

“We need to work together to improve our sources of income so that we can educate our children, we highly depend on natural resources because we did not go to school to get better jobs. We also need to engage in making charcoal briquettes and energy saving stoves to reduce risks that women and girls face while walking long distances to look for firewood and water,” said Christine Nyangoma from Hoima district.

climate change coalition partners with advocacy messages on GBV

The meeting at Munyonyo landing site was organised by NAPE together with SIMMA Africa for Creative Arts, Girls for Climate Action and Fridays for Future Uganda who are jointly implementing PISCCA project, “Towards an Intergenerational and Creative Feminist Movement in Uganda” with support from French Embassy under Gender and Climate coalition.

Climate change coalition partners with advocacy messages on GBV

The fisher folk noted that climate change accelerates Gender Based Violence within the fishing communities when they don’t catch enough The women noted that the biggest challenge is fellow women not supporting victims and looking at them as the cause of violence based on their dress code.

They also noted how the fish catchment has reduced which causes physical fights at the landing site as they struggle to get what to sale and be able to fend for their families. The girls that work in the bars expressed how they are unsafe due to the nature of their job and how men think that by virtue of doing the job they have consented to all forms of sexual advances whereas not and yet their bosses think this should be fine with them.

“Men need to be sensitized as change agents for gender based violence since they are the perpetrators and degraders of the environment,” said a fish vendor at Mulungu landing site.

Group photo with girls from Mulungu fishing landing site in Munyonyo

Joan Akiiza, the senior Gender and legal affairs officer at NAPE noted that gender issues are magnified when climate crisis occurs as women face the burden of increasing household responsibilities and are vulnerable to domestic and sexual violence.

She called upon women and girls to raise their voices and report all cases of GBV to police  she shared with them a hotline to dial and report cases without suffering in silence to stop all forms of gender based violence that affect women and girls.

ENDS//

COMMUNITY GREEN RADIO/ RADIO KIBOGA GETS APPROVAL FROM UGANDA COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Radio Kiboga limited which hosts Community Green Radio is on the released list of fully licensed radio stations allowed to broadcast by the regulator, Uganda Communications Commission.

In June this year, government ordered all radios to re-apply for licences in order to enable government roll new licences.

The UCC was established under section 4 of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013 with the goal of developing a modern communications sector in Uganda including radios.

The list of radios was released on 20th November (check 175 on the list https://www.ucc.co.ug/list-of-approved-radio-broadcasters/ )