The rapid growth of extractive industry in Uganda’s Albertine graben is at the same time rapidly affecting the ecosystems. The activities of oil companies have displaced the fertile farmlands and green vegetation making agriculture increasingly unviable to the host communities.

In Hoima’s Kabaale Sub County where oil refinery is set to be constructed and where the East African Crude Oil Pipeline begins, it is visibly seen that the community land, rivers and ecosystems are being violated by extractive activities at an alarming rate with the construction of Kabaale International Airport, EACOP and expansion of Kizirafumbi-Kabaale oil road in addition to increase.

But raged against this is a network of small holder farmers who are rising against the destruction of natural resources. By reducing the amount of fertile land and destroying the ecosystems they heavily depend on for agriculture, the host communities are already envisaging reduction of capacity for food production and denying them hope of food sovereignty; which they are resisting.

A few kilometers from the oil refinery area, women small holder farmers organized under Tugarre Ebyobuhangwa women’s group literally meaning ‘Lets save the environment’ have been battling with the leaders and oil companies over the massive destruction of indigenous trees as a result of oil activities.

They accuse the government of fronting the needs of oil companies at the expense of community needs.

“Our group petitioned Hoima district local government over massive destruction of our natural resources due to infrastructural development for the oil industry like roads. We demanded that government should replace the indigenous trees that have been cut down due to oil activities, protect the communities’ land by issuing land titles and also protect the buffer zones of water bodies,” said Annet Kasolo the group chairperson.

Kasolo says the petition has yielded results. “After the petition, the government is now distributing indigenous trees to farmers to promote agro ecology. So far, I have already received over 1000 indigenous tree species from Hoima district local government and SBC Company that is working on airport construction. The government has also promised to issue land certificates and people are currently being evicted from the buffer zones near major streams in this area and swamps,” said Kasolo.

The residents living along the East Africa Crude Oil pipeline say they have witnessed massive environmental destruction which they attribute to drying up of water sources in the area.

In Kigaaga village, which is in the outskirts of the refinery area and also affected by EACOP, women under Kigaaga Oil Refinery Women Development Association (KORECWODA) are engaged in establishment of indigenous tree nurseries to reforest the area currently destructed by oil developments.

Penina Ruhindi, the group chairperson says over 2,000 indigenous seeds have so far been distributed and planted by community members especially those along the EACOP.

According to the farmers, the continued forest destruction has contributed to change in seasons, which is already affecting farmers. Jesca Buteraba, a member of Butimba Sustainability Conservation Association (BUSUCA) says the farmers are already affected by the long dry spells and heavy rain fall which has threatened food security. According to Buteraba indigenous seeds still prove to be resistant to climate change effects and promoting them would promote food security.

Women are generally the primary custodians of seed diversity and wild biodiversity and therefore play a critical role in maintaining the health and resilience of local ecosystems. She says they are using traditional approaches of indigenous seed storage and multiplication to ensure that the seeds are protected.

Experts warn of looming scarcity

According to a report quoted by The Daily Monitor on August 17, 2023, a rapidly growing population and expanding human and industrial activities have led to significant strain on both underground and surface water sources in the Albertine Graben.


Despite threats and intimidation from oil companies, Rev. Fred Musiimenta successfully won the battle of fair compensation for his land acquired for East African Crude Oil pipeline (EACOP) after 6 years of protesting.

Rev. Musiimenta, a project affected person from Butimba village in Kikuube district says he received his long-awaited revised compensation in August last year after declining to sign what he termed as unfair compensation.

“When they realized that I was determined, they went silent on my demands; the compensation delayed for years. They knew this would make me bow to little compensation but I kept my stand. They later agreed to revise my rates,” said Musiimenta who could not divulge the details of how much he received.

The project affected 3,648 people in Uganda and Kikuube alone has 390 affected people. But according to Rev. Musiimenta, only 4 declined to sign for little pay until the compensation was revised.

The EACOP land acquisition process was overwhelmed by threats and intimidation from Total Energies and its sub contactors according to Musiimenta and as a result many people were intimidated to sign for unfair compensation.

 “The officials could say if you don’t sign for your compensation, your money will be taken to court, you will not win the case against the government and given the expensive nature of corrupt courts in Uganda the residents could not afford the court stress,” he said.

He also narrated that others were tricked into accepting what they now realize as inadequate compensation for their land.

“They would tell them that everyone had already accepted the money and it’s only you remaining and many people ended up signing,” he said

He explained that they petitioned the government in 2021 disputing the compensation rates that were used to define the value of their properties which were not in any way equivalent to the accumulating land prices in the area.

“The government together with oil companies was using the evaluation rates for 2018/2019. When we petitioned, they started threatening us, we kept our stand. We told them to review the rates or take our land on lease terms,” said Rev. Musiimenta.

Rev. Fred Musiimenta, who is the chairperson of Butimba Sustainability Conservation Association (BUSUCA), attributed the success to empowerment and capacity building gained from National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE).

“NAPE has sensitized us on our rights and how to fight for it. That’s why I have successfully demanded for what rightfully belongs to me,” he said.

In what he termed as an indirect land grabbing, Rev. Musiimenta says the oil companies and government were frustrating the host communities with unfair compensation, loss of livelihoods and difficulty in accessing land titles.

He said these coupled with high standards of living will technically knock the poor out of the area and leave the government and the rich in full control of the resources.

He, however, says his group has teamed up to support each other to ensure that the local people get land titles. He said the only hope for the local communities to fight land grabbing is having land titles.


The livelihoods of some of the people affected by oil feeder pipeline from Kingfisher Oil Field Buhuka in Kikuube district to connect to East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Kabaale, Hoima district remain hopelss as they wait for livelihood restoration program as promised by the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda.

The residents say they oil company officials promised to improve the livelihoods and standard of living of the affected people through livelihood restoration program.

“During evaluation, CNOOC officials promised to take our children back to school, give us agriculture inputs and give us food for a certain period. I was expecting them to take to vocational institutions some of my children who have since dropped out of school. They (oil company officials) even asked us to submit the names of those that need to go to institutions. But nothing has happened. The situation is instead getting worse because the compensation was delayed and little,” said a 36-year-old Statumah Barondemu, a resident of Kitegwa B village in Kabaale Sub County in Hoima district.

Barondemu, who received cash compensation after her land was taken, said they promised livelihood restoration to come immediately after land acquisition is complete but it’s now 6 years of waiting. She said she was food self-sufficient prior to losing her land but was forced to start from scratch and routinely buy food.

According to Petroleum Authority of Uganda, the process of livelihood program activities in agriculture improvement, business and vocational trainings for 680 persons commenced in May 2021.

However, the affected residents say efforts to reach out to relevant officials to follow up on the promises has yielded no results as they don’t pick up or even return calls.

Mary Nyambubi, of the affected person who was selected to handle grievances accruing from the land acquisition process in Kitegwa B in Kabaale Sub County says most of the complaints she registers are related to declining income and lack of food due to displacements. She said she has tried to follow up in vain.

“When I was handed over the house, they promised to take care of my family by giving us food packages and agricultural inputs for a certain period of time, put some of my children in vocational institutions but nothing has happened,” said Nyambubi a mother of two.

The Livelihood Restoration Program is included in the government approved Resettlement Action Plan and includes various options for restoration and enhancement of livelihoods including training for improved agricultural production, financial literacy training and vocational training.

However, the program seems to be having challenges in restoring livelihoods and is instead impacting on various rights like rights to food, education and health.  According to residents, there was also lack of clearly communicated timelines to project affected people on when these needed livelihood support would be provided.

Speaking to our reporter, Amiina Bukenya, the manager of Media and Publicity at CNOOC Uganda said different forms of livelihood restoration programs have been given depending on Environment and Social Impact Assessment and is being done in phases. She said some affected people have been given financial literacy trainings depending on the need.

“Most of the affected area is dry so we considered giving people trainings and access to clean safe water. Others will be supported in piggery and vocational trainings which are being provided in phases,” said Bukenya.

But affected residents like Nyambubi say whereas they indeed benefited from the financial literacy trainings and urged to mobilize groups, this was not sufficient enough to address the dwindling income of the affected people. She urges them to evaluate the livelihood restoration program to identify and address the gaps within the program if they want it to serve its purpose.

I have moved enough because of compensation; I need my money, 76-year-old elderly in Kyankwanzi cries out

While moving around Half London trading Centre in Nabidondolo West, Nabulembeko Parish in Watubba Sub county Kyankwanzi District we came across is seemingly elderly woman, her name is Tereza Bamuteze.  She says is 76 years old.

Bamuteze is currently surviving with little hope of getting a meal because she no longer cultivates food. Her land was earmarked for the East African Crude pipeline, EACOP and thus ordered not to utilize the land any more.

“I was stopped from using the land. I no longer grow crops for food. I can’t even harvest the coffee trees there in”, she narrates to our reporter.

After being stopped from utilizing the land, she had hoped of finding food in the market since compensation money was meant to be paid early but that hasn’t been the case.

Bamuteze narrates of how painful it has been for her to frequently visit the bank in town to check her balance but all attempts have not yielded any results.

The fifth time she visited the bank to check whether her compensation was deposited, she found her bank account closed and had to deposit more money for it to be reopened and later she had to look for a leader for help.

“When I raised our area councilor (representative to the local government), he told me to wait till July when payments resume”, narrated Ms. Tereza Bamuteze.

Bamuteze says she doesn’t know the size of the land that was taken away from her but recalls that her land and property were values at 1,922,500 Uganda Shillings.

Asuman Sssembatya, the Nabulembeko parish chairperson says as leaders, they have done all within their powers but PAPs’ compensations remain a toll order.

“These people come and promise our people timely compensation but when they leave us, things change”, says Mr. Ssembatya.

In May 2022, the EACOP reported that at least 41 percent of the Project affected persons-PAPs under the East African Crude Oil pipeline-EACOP project have been fully compensated in Uganda. There are 3,648 project affected persons-PAPs under the EACOP project in Uganda.

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.

According to the agreed plan, the pipeline route will begin from 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.

The governments of Uganda and Tanzania signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA)for the EACOP Project on 26 May 2017.

Community Green radio has been working closely with the PAPs to ensure their rights are fully respected during the implementation of all Oil and Gas related developments. The radio serves as a platform for the grassroots as their voice.


There was hope for a changed life after all modalities for compensation of the EACOP Project Affected Persons, PAPs were fulfilled by the family of Mr. Wilson Kigenyi and his wife Azuba Kigenyi of Kikajjo East B in Nabulembeko parish in Wattuba Sub county in Kyankwanzi District.

However, a dark cloud of uncertainty started hovering over the family after the death of Mr. Kigenyi last year. Mr. Kigenyi died of natural death and buried in the same land.

To Mrs. Kigenyi, the death of her husband was the beginning of her hopelessness.

“When he died, I lost touch of events and processes surrounding our compensation. The late registered our son as the next of kin and I don’t get updates regarding our compensation package”, Mrs. Kigenyi narrated to this website.

Mrs. Kigenyi’s frustrations are exacerbated by the fact that they were stopped from utilizing the land.

“We aren’t supposed to use this land for anything but I use the land for cultivation of food crops and I’m not certain when they will forcefully stop me”, she narrated seemingly terrified.

Asuman Sssembatya, the Nabulembeko parish chairperson says as leaders, they have done all within their powers but PAPs’ compensations remain a toll order.

“These people come and promise our people timely compensation but when they leave us, things change”, says Mr. Ssembatya.

In May 2022, the EACOP reported that at least 41 percent of the Project affected persons-PAPs under the East African Crude Oil pipeline-EACOP project have been fully compensated in Uganda. There are 3,648 project affected persons-PAPs under the EACOP project in Uganda.

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.

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

The government rolled out the program of acquiring land for the project in August 2018.

According to the agreed plan, the pipeline route will begin from 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.

The governments of Uganda and Tanzania signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA)for the EACOP Project on 26 May 2017.

Community Green radio has been working closely with the PAPs to ensure their rights are fully respected during the implementation of all Oil and Gas related developments. The radio serves as a platform for the grassroots as their voice.

Signing in darkness: Oil host communities struggle to attain justice for their land in the face of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and Central Processing Facility (CPF) developments in Uganda’s Albertine Oil region.

By Precious Naturinda

“I ignorantly signed the documents consenting to free takeover of my land,” narrates a 50 year old Beatrice Nyamahunge from Buliisa district. “When oil officials came in 2021, they told me to sign on the forms as a resident adjacent to the feeder oil pipeline route. Later, I realized that I had signed not to be compensated for my land acquired for 200 meter buffer zone from the feeder pipeline,” regrettably recalls Nyamahunge, a resident of Kigoya parish in Buliisa Sub County.

Figure 1: consent form with a disclaimer not to be compensated signed by Nyamahunge and her family

Nyamahunge is one of the people impacted by oil activities on their land without free, prior and informed consent. She is among the 1,846 people affected by the feeder oil pipeline from Buliisa district to Hoima under Tilenga project implemented by Total Energies.

Figure 2: Nyamahunge showing a form she ignorantly signed

Whereas oil companies are supposed to ensure appropriate disclosure of information, consultation and informed participation of those affected including host communities in decision making for land acquisition processes before written consent form the land owners, this was not the case.

“When they oil officials came to my village, they told me to mobilize people adjacent to the feeder pipeline to just sign the documents. They did not give us time to understand and interpret the documents since they were in English so many people signed ignorantly agreeing not to be compensated for the 200 meter buffer zone from the feeder pipeline. When they came back (oil officials), they told us not to construct permanent structures on those 200 meters or to grow perennial crops,” explained the Kigoya village Chairperson, Melick Asiimwe.

The oil and gas industry is rapidly growing in Uganda’s Albertine Graben since the discovery of commercial oil wells in 2006. The oil and gas sector is now at development phase in preparation of production of petroleum resources and this has seen development of oil projects including Tilenga project, Kingfisher oil project, the East African Crude oil Pipeline, the Central processing facilities  and feeder pipelines, Kaabale industrial park and the Hoima-Kampala Petroleum Products Pipeline. Having hit a snag in securing financing for the East African crude pipeline since 2020, the developers and Ugandan government through the mister of energy and the petroleum authority  on 30th August 2023, reported plans of  Kick starting EACOP construction in the First Quarter of 2024 but this has not started due to financing challenges mainly from European Banks. The Hope was Exim bank of china but for now over a year, the deal hasn’t secured a break through as per Reports of June 17th 2024. NAPE and collaborating groups still maintain a case in the French courts against Total Energies for violating the French Duty of vigilance Law by abusing human, land and environmental rights of the Oil host communities.

Its worthy noting that with the abuse of the internationally acclaimed principle of free, prior and informed consent before taking possession of the land by government and transnational oil and gas companies, the affected people have been exposed to uncertainty after being displaced without being compensated.

Alice Kazimura,  a community councilor and local activist in Buliisa district says the local leaders have not come out to address the challenges. “The local government leaders have instead dined with the oil companies and left the affected communities to suffer. Those who try to raise their voices are seen to be sabotaging government programs and are threatened with arrests,” says Alice Kazimura.

Standing still, deepening resistance in the face of land injustices

In spite of this violent reality, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) is working with communities to deepen resistance to land injustices and defend their land rights.  NAPE engages affected people like Nyamahunge to stand firm and fight for their rights.

Through sustainability school program that builds a critical mass to find solutions to the challenges affecting the communities and holding leaders accountable, grassroots women’s movement that is building the collective power of women and the Community Green Radio that amplifies the voices of communities, NAPE is empowering the communities to build solidarity and lead the defense of their land and their environment confidently.

Judith Beroirwoth, a member of the women’s movement and another feeder pipeline affected person from Ngwedo in Buliisa district refused to sign the documents giving away her land for 200 meter buffer zone. “NAPE has sensitized us to speak up so I refused to sign and demanded for an interpretation of those documents to the language I understand. I also mobilized members of my group- Tufanye Pa Moja Women’s group not to sign,” said the 41 year old mother of 4.

Figure 3: Judith Beroirwoth resited forced evictions

Is it paying off??

The resistance by Beroirwoth and others who have refused to sign seems to be yielding results.

Chris Ocowun, the Public Relations Officer for Total Energies says Oil Company together with the government has decided to compensate people for the 200 meter buffer zone. He says they are currently surveying the land and the affected people will be compensated.

“Initiatially, were had no plans of compensating for the buffer zone, which we call orphan land. But now we are assessing the land and the government surveyor is processing the compensation for the owners of the land,” said Ocowun in a phone interview with this website.

Lucy Mbuubi, a member of Butimba sustainability school on Kikuube district who is also affected by EACOP said the sustainability school has helped communities to indentify issues affecting them in their community and work together to find solutions as they hold their leaders accountable. “NAPE has empowered us and built our confidence. We have been able to stand in solidarity and resist unfair compensation by EACOP,” said Lucy Mbuubi.

The communities are also using NAPE’s Community Green Radio to raise their voices, address reported issues, organize and build consciousness about the exploitation of natural resources and injustices. They are building collective knowledge and crafting strategies that respond to their needs.

“At first, people used to just sign forms without reading the details but the Community Green Radio has played a big role of sensitizing the communities about their land rights and advocating for fair compensation for people affected by the Hoima-Kampala Petroleum Products Pipeline. Through forming listeners clubs and engaging in NAPE-initiated exchange visits with other oil projects affected communities in Hoima and Kikuube, we have been able to learn more about resisting poor compensation and emphasizing on interpretation of the documents before we sign,” said Asuman Ssembatya, from Kyankwanzi district.

When contacted, Rajab Bwengye, the coordinator of projects at NAPE said when communities are empowered and sensitized about their rights; they are able to fight for their rights from an informed point of view noting that it’s a shame and criminal for Oil companies to leave their home countries to come and displace communities, steal their land, create food insecurity ,degrade ecosystems and above all connive with corrupt leaders and security agencies to arrest oil host communities pointing the case of Stephen Kwikiriza  a resident of Kyagwali sub county the location of the kingfisher oil field who was kidnapped on June 4th and disappeared only to appear seriously abused and abandoned on the road site in kyenjojo district. 

Rajab further emphasized that it’s “an empty dream” for the Ugandan government and any other country promoting dirty energy fossils in the present era to think of ever achieving almost all the 17 United Nations sustainable Development Goals noting that with investment in dirty energy , SDGS of  1 No poverty , 2- Zero Hunger, 3 -Good Health and Wellbeing,5 -Gender Equality, 6 -Clean Water and Sanitation 7 -Affordable Glean Energy 10- Reduced Inequalities 11-Sustainble cities and communities , 12-Climate Action 15- Life on Land ,will never ever be realized” thus calling on civil society activists across the globe to unite against Oil corporates and their financiers.

He said NAPE will continue to empower and build a “critical mass” through “grass root Movement building” that is opposed to dirty fossils and is able to defend community  rights in the face of human and land injustices exacerbated by oil and gas extraction in Uganda.



Buganda Kingdom has publically recognized and appreciated the work of the Community Green Radio. The Radio has been awarded with a certificate of appreciation for its service to the subjects of the kingdom through providing communication services.

Esther Mugambwa, Owomuluka Gwa Buganda Sabawali (Parish Chief) who delivered the certificate at the radio premises said the Kingdom is much pleased with the radio and its work.

“We are highly pleased with the work you are doing in transforming the lives of the subjects of His Majesty through the various programs that are transformational”, said Mrs.Mugamba.

Community Green radio is based in Kiboga town in central Uganda which is part of Buganda Kingdom. The radio predominantly broadcasts in the Kiganda dialect which is the official language of the kingdom.

Mrs.Mugambwa appealed for continued working ties between the radio and the kingdom.

“We need to continue working together in conserving the environment, preserving Buganda cultural norms and transforming the lives of the King’s subjects”, she narrated.

Julius Kyamanywa, the Station Manager at the Community Green Radio pledged the radio’s commitment to continue serving the kingdom subjects in promotion of culture and environment.

“The kingdom and its issues stand at the heart of our programming decisions. We shall continue airing content that promote the values of the kingdom and environmental conservation and we invite the kingdom to continue complementing our efforts always”, asserted Kyamanywa.

The recognition and awarding of the certificate to the radio comes at a time when the Kingdom subjects are doing the annual donations to the palace commonly known by the kingdom subjects as Luwalo.

Community Green Radio is the main channel of communication for an estimated audience of more than 7 million people living the districts of Kiboga, Mubende, Mityana, Luwero, Wakiso, Nakasongola, Kibaale, Masindi, Kyenjojo, Ssembabule, Hoima, and some parts of Kampala. The radio is strategically positioned in the far central along Kampala-Kiboga-Hoima road an area known for oil resources in Uganda and was incorporated in 2006.

The mission of the radio is amplifying the voices of the communities at the grassroots.


The Executive Director of the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Frank Muramuzi has expressed dismay over the kidnap of human rights activist, Stephen Kwikiriza, a resident of Nsunzu village, Buhuka parish Kyangwali Sub County in Kikuube district.

Kwikiriza, a member of Kingfisher Community that hosts Kingfisher oil fields developed by Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), was kidnapped in Kampala on June 4th under unknown circumstances only to be found abandoned on the road side in Kyenjojo district on June 9th in bad health after enduring beatings, mistreatment and abuse throughout the week.

Muramuzi looks at the abduction of Kwikiriza as a revenge for speaking out against human rights abuses due to the Kingfisher project.

Muramuzi believes that oil companies and government security organs have a hand in Kwikiriza’s kidnap since he had previously received threats from Uganda People’s Defense Forces deployed in Kingfisher.

Muramuzi is calling for accountability from all those involved in the kidnap of Kwikiriza.

“What kind of country is this where citizens are abused in broad day light by foreign corporates in the name of mining Oil and stealing their land and you expect these oil host communities to just look on?  Stand warned and know that People don’t eat your oil. You found them living ppeaceful sustainable lives without your oil and the time is ripe for you to pack your bags and take back these evils to your homes,” noted Muramuzi.

Muramuzi expressed disappointment that it’s only in Uganda where citizens live in displaced peoples’ camps even when there is no war.

“Let these stop otherwise, enough is enough! We shall follow oil companies even to their own home governments so that they pay for the evils they have inflicted on oil host communities. Total Energies, the French Oil giant and CNOOC backed by security agencies and land speculators are grabbing peoples land, displacing thousands, degrading key ecosystem resources and abusing their rights through kidnaps and illegal arrests but they want affected communities to sit and watch!” added Muramuzi.

He said Oil and gas, wherever it has been exploited, has left host communities in tears giving examples of host communities now in the Albertine Oil rift, communities along the East African Crude Oil people (EACOP), communities in the Lake Turkana Oil belt of Kenya, communities in the Niger state of Nigeria, communities in the Amazon –Ecuador, communities in South Sudan, Sudan, Libya and Ghana among others.

He said extractive industry is irrelevant in the current age of worsening climate change and that it should be fought at all cost not only by civil society but every citizen in the country.

The abduction of Kwikiriza is in addition to other patterns of arbitrary arrests against environmental and human rights activists speaking out against human rights abuses and threats to the environment due to oil projects in Uganda.

On May 27this year, eight ‘STOP EACOP’ activists were arrested outside Chinese Embassy in Kampala for holding a peaceful demonstration calling on China to stop plans to support East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).


The German Member of Parliament, Ms. Cornelia Mohring has expressed concern over human rights violations faced by Uganda’s oil host communities amidst the ongoing oil and gas activities in the Albertine region.

During her visit to the region to have a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the oil host communities on 20th and 22nd May, Cornelia said she is aware that the capitalistic foreign actors involved in the oil and gas extractives are the ones violating the rights of local communities and pledged her total support. She also commended the communities’ efforts to build collective power and fight against the injustices.

“The issues faced by local communities in Uganda due to oil are the topics of discussion back in German parliament. I am aware that European corporate companies including those from Germany are the ones involved in human rights violations. This is a reason why I have come to Uganda to interface with affected communities and have a deeper understanding of the issues. I am also happy that you are not relenting; you are instead coming up together to find solutions especially women,” said Cornelia while meeting the communities.

Cornelia was on a visit to Uganda on invitation of the Katrin Voss, the Director for ROSA Luxemburg Foundation for East Africa. They were on a mission to visit ROSA supported projects and communities through National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE).

Katrin and Cornelia that were led by Samuel Kasirye, the Rosa Program Officer visited NAPE’s Community Green Radio offices in Kiboga where they met staff and radio listeners club members and communities affected by oil and gas activities in Hoima and Buliisa. Apart from sharing stories of resistance against the human rights violations, the communities treated the visitors to food exhibitions to showcase their efforts in promoting growing of indigenous food to promote food sovereignty.

During the meeting at NAPE’s Community Green Radio, the communities shared how Radio has offered a platform for discussing the plight of people affected by oil development, putting women at the Centre of fighting against gender based inequalities and promoting food security.

 “The radio has played a big role in sensitizing the communities about their land rights and advocating for fair compensation for communities affected by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The group members have been able to participate in NAPE-initiated exchange visits with other affected members in Hoima and Kikuube and have been able to learn a lot from them especially learning more on how to deal with poor compensation, more knowledge on land related issue, improving livelihoods and championing the demand for their rights and entitlements,” said Asuman Ssembatya, a member of Nabidondolo listeners club in Kyankwanzi district.

Anamary Kityo, member of Kikajjo listeners club in Kyankwanzi district said they have had an opportunity to have their voices amplified by the radio and have been sensitized on their rights to land, fighting against gender based violence and promoting food security at house hold level.

In Hoima and Buliisa districts, the communities shared how they have been empowered under the NAPE sustainability school approach to mobilize communities and hold their leaders accountable and stand together in solidarity to challenge the oil and gas induced human rights violations.

Alice Kazimura, the Director for Kakindo Women’s Integrated Development Association (KAWIDA) in Buliisa district 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 increased food insecurity. She said the communities with support from NAPE have played a big role in sensitizing communities about the challenges and finding solutions.

Mrs. Kazimura said they have been at the forefront of fighting for fair compensation, land rights and women empowerment thanking NAPE for spearheading the struggle.

At first people were poorly compensated but with continuous advocacy, the compensation improved with better housing units. Women have been empowered to speak and are fighting for their land rights and ending gender based violence,” she said. 

Ms. Kiiza Gorreti from Kigwera Sub County in Buliisa District, a single mother of three said, “Since the discovery of oil and gas women have faced challenges of gender based violence where men have taken the compensation money and used it to marry other women, land rights violations and family break ups. The oil Central Processing Facility (CPF) covered 5 villages which women were using to collect firewood, building materials for their grass thatched houses and grazing. However, women have been empowered to speak up through the sustainability school and we are proud that Green Radio offers us free and safe space where we air our views.”

Katrin said she is happy that the communities especially women are aware of the challenges and also taking swift efforts to solve the problems. She applauded them for taking a stance in promoting food sovereignty, fighting against gender based violence and promoting women’s rights.  She noted that she will continue to support such efforts to the best of her ability.

The oil discovery and subsequent oil developments in Uganda was initially welcomed with anxiety, anticipation and optimism by not only the government but also the oil- host communities, with flares of tapping wealth. Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been outspoken in his support for oil production, which he says will transform the country to a middle income status and has continuously urged the local communities to tap into oil opportunities.

But the tales of oil host communities reflect the fading hopes as the oil activities continue to be marred by human rights violations. Issues of displacements of people from their land to pave way for oil related infrastructure with little or no compensation, destruction of sensitive ecosystems, increased land grabbing, increased human-wildlife conflict, food insecurity and gender-based violence dominate the encounter with oil host communities in the oil region.

Challenging the violations require transfer of power from the dominant and minority groups- the state and its development agencies to the poor and marginalized groups. Because of this, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) with support from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation has been mobilizing communities affected by oil and bringing them together to share and discuss their challenges with the view of getting the solution under the sustainability school and the Community Green approaches since 2012.

Rajab Bwengye, the Sustainability School Manager and Community Green Radio at NAPE, says the organization is working with the affected communities to resist the human rights violations and as a result, many communities are standing up to protect their ecosystems and their livelihoods. He says this, however, needs continuous financial support. He noted that NAPE’s new strategy in the coming years is building a knowledge base where these stories of resistance from the communities are amplified among regional and international stakeholders so that these that are responsible for the abuses are held accountable.