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Total E&P to Relocate Oil Drilling Waste from Nwoya

Gloria Sebikari, the senior communications officer with the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD) says that preliminary work is now ongoing to excavate the waste, demarcate the area and document the level of destruction in order to process compensation for the family.
Total E&P has undertaken to excavate oil drilling waste that was dumped by Heritage oil and Gas Company in Pabit village, Purongo Sub County in Nwoya district five years ago.

The waste was disposed-off in a piece of land belonging to Douglas Olwoch, a farmer whose produce was subsequently rejected by the community accusing him of exposing residents to hazardous waste.

Olwoch had received a payment of Ugx 750,000 to allow Heritage Oil and Gas Company dispose mud cuttings from its oil exploration activities in Murchison falls national park on his farmland measuring about 50 square meters.

Last year, Olwoch planted 1 acre of Cassava which all went to waste when residents rejected it saying it was contaminated with harmful waste. Olwoch expects to harvest up to 10 acres of rice this season but doesn't hope to sell it in Purongo or Nwoya district because of the negative attitude amongst residents.  

To end the controversy, Ahlem Friga-Noy, Total E&Ps corporate affairs manager says the waste will be transferred to a treatment plant set up by Enviroserve, a company licensed by Total E&P to treat and manage the waste.

Ahlem says that after emptying the pit, the soil will be replaced so that there is no further alarm on the case of the mud cuttings; she however says that there are no immediate health risks resulting from the disposal.

Olwoch's lawyer Odonga Otto welcomes the development saying the voice of the people has finally been heard and honored. He however demanded that his client receives due compensation for the stigma and loss of livelihood that he was subjected to as a result of the negligent act.

Gloria Sebikari, the senior communications officer with the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD) says that preliminary work is now ongoing to excavate the waste, demarcate the area and document the level of destruction in order to process compensation for the family.

Earlier on Olwoch had demanded for a compensation of Ugx 250 million.

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