Friday, May 20th, 2022 | By
The government of Uganda has handed over 127 land titles to persons affected by the Oil refinery project in Hoima district western Uganda. These are part of the 133 titles that are supposed to be issued to the oil refinery project affected persons-PAPs.
In 2012 the government of Uganda acquired 29 square kilometres of land for the construction of the Oil refinery in 13 villages in Kabaale parish in Buseruka sub-county in Hoima District western Uganda. More than 7,000 people were displaced and some of them resettled to Kyakaboga village in Buseruka sub-county where the government acquired 533 acres of land and constructed permanent houses.
However, since then, the project-affected persons -PAPs have been demanding their land titles in vain despite the government committing itself that the titles would be issued before they are resettled.
The titles were on May 19 given to the Oil Refinery Project Affected Persons-PAPs in Kyakaboga village in Buseruka sub-county by Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for Energy and Mineral Development.
Lokeris said the processed titles are a guarantee to the PAPs to genuinely own their land without interference. He added that the handover of the titles is yet another key achievement made in the implementation of the Refinery Resettlement Action Plan- RAP.
The minister cautioned the beneficiaries to take the titles very crucial and warned them from the sale of their land.
Innocent Tumebwaze, the chairperson of Kyakaboga sustainability school under National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) attributed their activism to pursue the land titles to empowerment and amplification of their voices from NAPE.
“Some of us who were actively following up the issue of land titles have been the target of persecution from government. They always wanted to intimidate and silence us but NAPE kept amplifying our voices through the radio and video documentaries and empowering us through trainings,” said Tumwebaze.
He, however, noted that there are still irregularities where some PAPs did not get the land titles because they did not sign the transfer forms while others got titles for only the house but not their entire land. He said they will continue to push for it.
Grace Gipatho one of the project-affected persons said her title will give a big boost to the protection of her land.