Silicon Exploration: Residents Demand Compensation

Immediately after signing the agreement, Brothers Investment Company Limited immediately embarked on the exploration actitivites.
Just a month into the exploration of Silicon in Budongo Sub County in Masindi district, residents have petitioned government demanding for compensation. In October 2012, government through the energy ministry entered a three year exploration contract with Brothers Investment Company Limited, a Chinese firm to explore Silicon in Budongo Sub County. Immediately after signing the agreement, Brothers Investment Company Limited immediately embarked on the exploration actitivites. Now, the residents in the affected areas are demanding for compensation. 

Livingstone Mwesigwa, the LC 3 chairperson of Budongo Sub County who led the affected residents to meet the Acting Commissioner ministry of energy on Wednesday says that they are seeking compensation because they have been blocked from accessing their land. Their crops have also been destroyed. Mwesigwa says residents used to engage in stone quarrying in the prohibited areas to earn a living but all is no more. He says that his people need compensation before the company can resume exploration activities in their area. In late October, Masindi district authorities halted the exploration activities pending clarification from the ministry pertaining the residents’ concerns.

Edward Kato, the acting Commissioner Ministry of Energy has promised to convene a meeting between the company officials and the affected residents to discuss their grievances before exploration activities can resume. About 50 families have been affected by the silicon exploration activities in Budongo. In the neighboring Buliisa and Hoima districts where oil exploration is taking place, residents have lost their pieces of land and property without compensation. In Buseruka, Hoima district about 8000 residents are facing eviction to pave way for the construction of the oil refinery as government prepares for commercial oil production.  The residents are living in fear because they are not yet aware of their next destination.