Uganda & Tanzania: East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)
France’s Total and the majority state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd. (CNOOC) plan to build the world’s longest heated crude oil pipeline, running through the heart of East Africa from Hoima in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania. Local communities and civil society groups have raised concerns regarding extensive displacement and impacts on the critical ecosystems of the Lake Victoria basin area.
- Climate change: It has been calculated that the emissions from burning the oil transported by the pipeline could reach at least 34.3 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent per year at peak production. This amount is larger than the current annual emissions of Uganda and Tanzania combined, and roughly equivalent to the carbon emissions of Denmark.
- Biodiversity: The project will impact on almost 2,000 square kilometres of protected wildlife habitats, including national parks, game reserves, biodiversity areas, Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs), Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), mangrove forests, and coral reefs. The pipeline is slated to run near or through several Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance.
- Endangered species: The pipeline will pass through Bugoma forest, an important corridor for the endangered Eastern chimpanzee. It also threatens elephant wildlife corridors and will transfer oil in the proximity of waters that are home to dugongs and sea turtles.
- Deforestation: EACOP will run through the Taala Forest Reserve. This potential loss of forest cover is particularly problematic considering Uganda is already losing about 90,000 hectares of forest per year.
- Water: The pipeline crosses important water sources that are used for drinking and food production by local people. Nearly one-third of the proposed pipeline would be constructed in the Lake Victoria freshwater basin, which supports the livelihoods of over 40 million people. The planned route would cross numerous other water courses. Pipeline leaks could have serious impacts on these water sources and associated wildlife and livelihoods.
- Land conflict & displacement: 5,300 hectares of land will be needed for construction and operation of the pipeline, and around 14,000 households will lose land. Affected people have reported that land valuation has been conducted in an environment of intimidation, and compensation has been continuously delayed.
- Livelihoods: The pipeline threatens livelihoods of those dependent on tourism and ecological services in the areas that it passes through. Impacts on vital freshwater sources, such as Lake Victoria, as well as restricted access to farmland, threaten the agricultural livelihoods of the local population.
- Impact assessment: Impact assessments have been conducted with limited meaningful public consultation, and independent reviews of these assessments have deemed them inadequate.