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Wait Continues For Oil Refinery-affected Residents

People affected by the construction of the oil refinery in Hoima district say they are still uncertain of the future as they prepare to leave their homes for the unknown. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has set aside five billion shillings to compensate over 8,000 to be displaced by the construction of the oil refinery in Hoima district.

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People affected by the construction of the oil refinery in Hoima district say they are still uncertain of the future as they prepare to leave their homes for the unknown.

 

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has set aside five billion shillings to compensate over 8,000 to be displaced by the construction of the oil refinery in Hoima district. Those affected are in nine villages of Nyahaira, Kyapoloni, Bukona, Kabaketo, Nyamasoga, Rugashare, Katooke, Kijumba, Kitegwa and part of Kaayera.

 

However, what remains unclear is when and where the residents go next after leaving their ancestral land. Government insists it’s still premature to reveal this before the implementation of the Resettlement Action Plan.

With such conditions prevailing, residents say they are still uncertain of the future. Forty-eight year old Jomo Aboda of Bukona A village says although he opted for compensation, he is not sure how much he will get. He wishes to get 20 million shillings for each of his 20 acres of land, but fears a repeat of the Kaiso-Tonya road works scenario, where those affected were compensated at a rate much lower than they had anticipated.

The father of 10 says if due compensation is given, he will look for land within Hoima to resettle his family.

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For 28-year-old Geoffrey Kiwedde, a resident of Kyapaloni village, relocation would not be a problem, but rather getting used to life there may be a challenge. Kiwedde, a father of seven says he had many friends in Kyapaloni who would help him out in case of any problem. He says it may take time to get such friends in a new place.

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Government says they are soon hiring a consultant to implement the resettlement action Plan-RAP, including compensation.

Hangi Bashir, the Communication Officer in charge refinery in the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department at the Ministry of Energy, says the compensation rates have already been approved and government is moving on to hire a consultant to spearhead the exercise.

He declines to reveal details, however, saying the rates are yet to be made public.

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