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Total-Uganda is evaluating the residual
land of the people affected by the East African Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project in
the ten districts within the pipeline route.
According to Stella Amony, the
Communications Officer –Total E&P Uganda, has confirmed the exercise saying
it commenced in November last year and will be concluded in March this year.
She says that the exercise is covering 296km from Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba,
Sembabule, Lwengo, Kyotera, and Rakai districts.
Amony explains that the residual land evaluation
is a process that had to be done after concluding the evaluation of the pipeline
Residual land means a small
portion of land that remains after taking a bigger piece of land. Usually, this
type of land makes no meaning to the owner and can hardly support any realistic
project due to the tiny size.
There have been a series of protests
since 2019 over the alleged undervaluation of the Project Affected Persons' (PAP) land, failure to
consider the residual land and the delayed compensation.
However, Amony explains that the
residual land was also considered for compensation only that the PAPs and other
local leaders may not have received the information clearly. The exercise has however excited the
PAPs in Rakai, Kyotera, Lwengo Sembabule especially those with residual portions
Birimuye Ssekyondwa, one of the PAPs
in Nabigasa in Kyotera district, explains that the valuation gives him hope
that he will get fair compensation.
He attributed the PAPs protests to
lack of information from New Plan Ltd which Total contracted to implement the valuation
Betty Nabulya, another PAP in Betereemu
village, in Betereemu Parish, says until they measure the land she will remain
skeptical. She adds that the exercise has started in Rakai and other areas unlike
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According to Edward Kamya Kabuye,
the Rakai Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the PAPs thought the government
had disregarded compensation of the residual land leading to protests.
Apart from the delayed compensation,
undervaluation of property, the PAPs have also consistently complained over the
residual land and demanded valuation and compensation for it.
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Kabuye further explains that it is
incumbent upon the government to compensate all the PAPs for their properties
including the residual land.
He adds that they do not want to
leave any PAP at a loss since they willingly offered their land for the
He says that it would not be
realistic to get complaints when the project is completed yet they adding that
they are trying to avoid litigation.
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Moses Kasiita, the LCI Chairman for
Kijjumba village and one of the PAPs in Lwanda sub-county, says they are happy
that government is considering their residual land for compensation even when
the process has delayed.