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Irregular Compensation Delays Palm Oil Project in Buvuma District

Despite claims by national oil palm project that the compensation was completed, some residents are still hesitant to vacate claiming that their land and properties were poorly evaluated and want their land resurveyed.
Oil palm nursery bed in Buvuma District.

Audio 3

Irregular compensation has been blamed for delays in the progress of the palm oil project in Buvuma District. The compensation program started in 2018 under the Vegetable Oil Development Program-VODP which later transformed into National Oil Palm Project.

The project will operate on 10,000 hectares, 6,500 of which will be used by Oil Palm Uganda Ltd-OPUL, a subsidiary of Bidco Uganda that manages palm oil plantations at Kalangala District. The remaining 3500 hectares will be utilized by out-growers. 

Despite claims by national oil palm project that the compensation was completed, more than 50 residents are still hesitant to vacate claiming that their land and properties were poorly evaluated and want their land resurveyed.

Mayeru Isabirye, one of the residents says that he received money for only one acre out the three acres that were surveyed.

//Cue in; “Okusomesa tekwaliwo…

Cue out…abebyobufuzi tebatuyamba”//

Another resident Johnson Mukasa says that he received 15 million shillings for three acres although he has eight acres. He wants the project managers to release the findings of the evaluation report.

“The project wants to take beyond what is compensated for something residents are not willing to comply with”

//Cue in; “Kwali kupima bubi…

Cue out…ngo ogiyita otya.”//

But Wilson Sserunjogi, the National Oil Palm Project district focal person says in some areas they have had delays to compensate the residents due to lack of land titles and letters of administration by residents. He also says that in areas such as Bumangi, Luziya, Kirayita and Nsegulamirambo, compensation was halted following the outbreak of Covid-19.

//Cue in; “When we give…

Cue out…land and purchase.”//

Meanwhile, the project received the first batch of seedlings from Benin to the nursery bed located at Busamuzi Sub County. The seedlings will be distributed to individual farmers under Buvuma Oil Palm Grower’s Trust an individual farmer’s union.

Sserunjogi reveals that out of about 3,000 farmers that showed interest in the program, land of about 100 people has been so far surveyed and qualified to participate in smallholder palm oil growing.          

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