A Major Uganda-Tanzania Oil Pipeline Hits Obstacles Amid Low-Price Compensation
Uganda faces challenges clearing a pipeline route transporting oil to its neighbour Tanzania. After approximately four years of talks, key players of the project finally reached a deal in April, leading to route marking for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline using pegs.
However, the developments haven't left the locals whose pieces of land would no longer be theirs with anything to smile about. The pipeline route runs through their homes and houses amid the protests of low-price compensations.
According to civil society, the disclosed compensation is unfair and wouldn't be enough to help the displaced acquire an equivalent piece of land within their villages.
"The disclosure for EACOP is so low that if you are compensated, you will not be able to buy land anywhere in Kikuube or Hoima. You can't buy land of the same size compensated by EACOP," said Reverent Musimenta, the representative of the victims, Africanews reported on Monday, November 8.
Some victims are still wondering where to go with such a small compensation not enough to purchase a reasonable land in another location. "They said that I should not build another house there because the land is very small. So I don't even know what to do", said Muhamuza Dominic, one of the victims.
After pegging the path for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, the affected locals were barred from utilizing their property permanently.
The pipeline construction will lead to the loss of fertile farmlands people have relied on for years. Uganda, oil companies, including the famous Total Energy, and neighbouring countries agreed to build a 1443 kilometres-long pipeline to the Chongoleani peninsula located near Tanzania's Tanga port.
Although the key players in the project had agreed on a deal several months ago, the construction of the 30-meter wide pipeline has hit a snag due to many challenges, including absentee landlords, the pandemic, and varied land prices.
Even though the Ugandan government said it supports the affected victims, many critics call for the re-evaluation of the compensation packages.
According to experts, Uganda can join world-leading oil producers with prospected 6.5 barrels of crude oil. The country was also recently described by the World Bank as "the hottest inland exploration frontier in the world and the country to watch in the oil and gas space".