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Oil Refinery: Residents Want Land Titles From Gov't

Residents and local leaders of Kabale parish in Buseruka Sub county Hoima district are demanding that their land be surveyed and titles offered before compensation is made. The area forms part of the proposed site for the oil refinery construction.
Residents and local leaders of Kabale parish in Buseruka Sub county Hoima district are demanding that their land be surveyed and titles offered before compensation is made.

 

The area forms part of the proposed site for the oil refinery construction.

But the residents say no one has a land title in the area as land is customarily owned. They fear this could derail their compensation in case of relocation from the land.

About 30,000 residents are to face eviction from 12 villages that lie in the proposed oil refinery site in Kabale parish Buseruka Sub County.

Government has earmarked over five billion shillings to kick-start the compensation process before the residents are relocated to pave way for the refinery construction next year.

David Besigye, a resident of Kigaaga, one of the affected villages says his fear is missing out on the planned compensation since his land lacks a land title. The 70 year old says he has a permanent home in the area where he has lived for over 50 years now.

He demands that government first surveys the land and offer land titles in the area prior to the compensation process as this is vital.

Besigye also wants government to first show them the land where they are to be taken to determine whether it is suitable. He fears that government could only be trying to convince them to leave yet no land has been secured for them to resettle.

Geoffrey Komakech, the councilor representing Buseruka Sub County says this is a concern of everyone in the area as residents wonder how they will be compensated without land titles and where government would relocate them.

Komakech says suitable land should be secured first before his residents are evicted so that they are well resettled. In the affected area are Nyahaira and Kyapaloni primary schools which, he says, need space in the new area of relocation.

But while addressing journalists in Hoima on Sunday, Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for energy and mineral development assured residents that due compensation will be given and a piece of land for relocation availed.

He was however non committal on when the exercise begins saying it is too early to comment.

The proposed oil refinery will sit on a 60 square mile piece of land.

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