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Buliisa Oil Project Affected Persons Get Houses

At least 29 houses with land titles, were handed over to the Project Affected Persons-PAPs at Uduk II Village Ngwedu sub-county, Buliisa district on Monday, as part of the Tilenga Resettlement Action Plan Implementation. One house is yet to be fully completed.
Pierre Jessua handing over a land Title to Juma Isingo and his wife.The two are some of the Project affected Persons-PAPS Photo by Emmanuel Okello.

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Families affected by the construction of the Tilenga Central Processing Facility in Buliisa district has finally received houses as part of their relocation package, thanks to Total E&P.

Up to 623 persons in Kasenyi village were affected when the government acquired 320-hectares of land in Kasenyi village in Ngwedu sub-county to pave way for the construction of the Tilenga central processing facility. 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.

But 30  of the Project Affected Persons opted for resettlement under the Tilenga Resettlement Action Plan, while others opted for cash. At least 29 houses with land titles, were handed over to the Project Affected Persons-PAPs at Uduk II Village Ngwedu sub-county, Buliisa district on Monday, as part of the Tilenga Resettlement Action Plan Implementation.  One house is yet to be fully completed.

The resettlement housing project which cost over USD 1 million is located on Resettlement plots selected by the respective primary residents whose land was identified for the construction of the Tilenga Central Processing Facility and its associated infrastructure.

The implementation of the Resettlement housing project and a subsequent relocation of the primary residents follows the approval of the Tilenga Resettlement Action Plan report by the government of Uganda on December 5, 2017. 

The approval paved way for the launch of various compensation and livelihood restoration activities for the Project Affected Persons as well as call for tenders and construction of the resettlement houses which commenced in February 2019.    

The handover of the houses to the Project Affected Persons brings an end to a standoff between the government and the households that have been pushing the government to fulfil its promise as per the resettlement action plan.    

Pierre Jessua, the General Manager Total E&P Uganda says the housing project is an important symbol of the commitment to undertake the Tilenga development project while observing the utmost human rights standards. He says Total E&P is taking all the necessary initiatives to ensure that they adequately restore and improve the living standards of the Project affected persons.

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Jessua explains that programmes such as Agriculture support services, vocational training, capacity building and financial literacy have been identified to enable the beneficiaries to restore and improve their livelihoods.

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Simon Agaba Kinene, the Buliisa LCV Chairperson applauded Total E&P Uganda for availing the Project affected persons with land Titles saying the Titles will act as Guarantee to protect the houses and land allocated to them.

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Longino Bahebwa, the Resident District Commissioner-RDC Buliisa  says the construction of the houses has greatly changed the livelihoods of the project affected persons who initially settled in semi-permanent houses.

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Juma Isingoma one of the beneficiaries thanked the government for fulfilling its pledges to them.

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Annet Abigaba, another beneficiary says she is happy with the construction of the new houses but demanded that the government constructs for them bigger houses instead of the three-roomed house which is not spacious enough to accommodate her family.

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Cosmas Nfundize, another Project Affected Persons says that although he is happy now that he has received a new and permanent house, there is no privacy since they are sharing the house with his children.

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Linda Nabirye, the External Communications Coordinator of Total E&P says the houses were constructed in accordance with what the Project Affected Persons had in their former places of residence.