Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 | By
Jacob Kitezi is one of the pipeline affected residents in Kyankwanzi district who has waited for his compensation cash to hit his bank accounts in vain.
Kitezi, a resident of Kigoma ward in Massode-Kalagi town council was affected by the Hoima-Kampala petroleum Products Pipeline that is proposed to transport refined oil products from the Uganda Oil Refinery in Hoima to a distribution terminal near Buloba in Wakiso district. The pipe passed through is coffee and banana plantation.
However, Kitezi says it’s now a year since he was promised his cash compensation. Away from the delayed compensation, he says his property was undervalued since he never participated in the valuation process.
He says the challenge is that he has failed to get the right channels to address his grievances since the area local leaders have no updates on when they are getting their compensation. He also noted that the community liaisons officers for oil companies are not known leaving with them a huge information gap.
“They only invited me to sign papers for my compensation but I dint participate in valuation of my affected property. The money given was little but it’s not also coming. Access to information has become a problem because I have no one to ask,” said Kitezi.
Rev. Fred Musimenta, a resident of Butimba Village in Kikuube district also expresses the same disappointments. He says addressing human rights concerns by the oil companies have become a problem as they are not clear on the way forward amidst the delayed compensation.
“When I rejected the poor compensation, they promised to get back to me and re-evaluate my property but I have been waiting for them in vain. Whoever I try to ask tells me that they are coming,” said Musimenta.
As of December 2022, 2,502(69%) EACOP PAPs were compensated out of 3,648 people in Uganda according to statics obtained from EACOP website.
Dickens Amanya, the Coordinatior for Bunyoro Albertine Petroleum Network on Environmental Conservation (BAPENECO) says people have the right to information and consultation and every district is supposed to have a grievance settlement committee aimed at addressing the concerns of the affected residents.
He said the people affected by the pipeline should follow up with their respective district in order to address the information gap. He was recently addressing people affected by the pipeline in a community engagement that was organized by National Association of Professional Environmentalists(NAPE).
Allan Kalangi, the Sustainability Officer at NAPE said NAPE will continue building the capacity of communities to be able to address their stakeholders on potential environmental and human rights concerns.