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1 Feb 2016

Edward Ssekika, in Oil in Uganda

Uganda: NGOs say granting oil licenses in Lake Edward area could compromise livelihoods & degrade environment

"NGOs ask government not to grant oil licenses in Lake Edward area"

Over sixty Ugandan and international NGOs issued a joint press statement in Kampala this week calling on the Uganda government to stop its plans of licensing out the Ngaji oil block at the DRC border in order to preserve the pristine environment of the Virunga National Park. The NGOs, who include international campaigner Global Witness and the Ugandan Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas, are also asking the international oil companies not to accept any license for the Ngaji block. They further call upon the DRC government to refrain from granting any new licenses or transfer of licenses in Virunga National Park...

According to the statement, an estimated 200,000 fishermen and local people depend on Lake Edward for their livelihoods. “Any oil activities in this area could do significant damage on the lake, the broader ecosystem and people and animals that depend on it,” reads the statement in part.  “This could include adverse impacts from drilling, road construction, increased population or water pollution.”..

Last year, SOCO International carried out seismic surveys on the DRC side of Lake Edward but the company has not yet published the results of its exploration. However, the exercise attracted massive local and international opposition, forcing SOCO to declare it had lost interest in the Virunga oil block.