While EACOP managers reason that construction should start from Tanzania because it has the largest land area coverage of the pipeline, sources indicate that it was decided that they start from the Tanzanian side because of Tanzania's less complicated land tenure system.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has
reiterated that no construction project in the oil and gas industry will take
place until all affected persons have been compensated or resettled.
This comes after the governments of Uganda and Tanzania and the oil and gas
companies on Sunday signed agreements that they said had given way for the
projects to commence.
The projects include developments in the Kingfisher and Tilenga oil fields as
well as the East African Crude Oil Pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga in
After the agreements, the communique said that the parties could now go ahead
and contract companies for the projects.
Energy Minister Maria Goretti Kitutu says every person affected will have to be
compensated, either in cash or resettled with a new homestead, before construction
of any project commences.
Dr. Kitutu says it is not only about the compensation, but that the activities
must follow all local and international procedures including conserving the
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The EACOP General Manager of Martin Tiffen says the compensation
process is ongoing and that survey, valuations and resettlement plans for land
in the Albertine Grabben have been approved by government and implementation
will start soon.
Tiffen says that regarding the EACOP, they have not acquired
any piece of land because the people have not been compensated yet.
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URN has learned that the construction of the pipeline will
not takeoff in Uganda at the same time when work commences on the Tanzanian
While EACOP managers reason that construction should start from Tanzania because it has the largest land area coverage of the pipeline, sources indicate that it decided that it starts from the Tanzanian side because of the less complicated land tenure system there compared to Uganda.
With Uganda’s laws that require prompt and adequate compensation
before the project takes off, the decision to start from Tanzania will allow Uganda
to mobilize the required resources for compensation.
The government has been verifying the persons that are
eligible for compensation and about 200 households will be displaced by the
pipeline in Uganda, while up to 3,500 households will be economically
displaced, meaning they will lose land, according to a report by Oxfam
According to Total the completion of the Tilenga and EACOP projects will
require acquisition of some 6,400 hectares.
For Tilenga and EACOP, this program means relocating 723 primary residences,
and will affect a total of 18,800 stakeholders, landowners and land
Uganda also has to mobilize about 475 billion Shillings (US$ 130
million) as part of her obligations towards the formation of EACOP, in which it
is a shareholder through the Uganda National Oil Company, UNOC.
Last month, the Ministry of Finance tabled before parliament a request for a
loan but faced resistance from the MPS, who cited reasons like the high debt
ratios of the country.
UNOC Chief Executive Officer, Proscovia Nabbanja says that they hope following
the signing of the agreements, the arms of government will move
faster to secure the financing.
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The signing of the deals awakened calls on the government and the companies to
disclose the details of the agreements concerning the whole extractive
industry, including oil and gas.
Citing parts of the constitution, on Monday, controversial lawyer Hassan Male
Mabirizi gave the ministry of energy 21 days to public the agreements or he
Other callers for more transparency have cited the provisions of the Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, a global initiative to which Uganda
is a signatory.
However, the Permanent Secretary Robert Kasande said the EITI and Uganda
reached a common position on how much to disclose, before Uganda signed
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Kasande also dismissed a petition by a group of 38 civil society organization
from Uganda and the DR Congo, seeking to block implementation of the
The organizations led by the African Institute for Energy Governance, cited
possible consequences like impoverishing the people in affected areas,
violation of laws on conservation of nature and the delayed passing of the
EACOP Bill, among others.
But Kasande said what the NGOs are presenting has already been handled.