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Locals impacted by oil exploration activities allegedly neither consulted nor adequately compensated

Author: Daily Monitor (Uganda), Published on: 8 October 2018

"Compensation glitches cited in oil-rich areas"

Before oil exploration started in Murchison Falls National Park in Nwoya District, in late 2000s, there were few cases of wild animals, especially elephants invading homes and gardens in areas that border the park...Mr Godfrey Otukene’s grass thatched hut was destroyed by elephants. He narrowly escaped the attack early this year. “To date, I am struggling to reconstruct my hut but what pains me is Uganda Wild Life Authority, which manages the park has no plan to compensate me,” he said. Apart from destroying the hut, Mr Otukene’s maize and beans garden were destroyed. Much as Total E & P has tried to restore the environment that was interrupted, the elephants have never ceased from straying in people’s homes and gardens...

In 2011, Total E & P took over the running of the Murchison Park oil wells in Block 1. This is an area with the highest quantity of crude oil in the region. Murchison falls National Park, which was gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, is Uganda’s largest conservation area hosts 76 mammal and 451 bird species including chimpanzees, elephants, leopards and giraffes. Mr Otuekene’s frustration is shared by dozens of residents in Anaka Sub-county in Nwoya District as well as neighbours in Ganda Parish, Panymur Sub-county, Pakwach District. Mr Raymond Pyem, the youth councillor Panymur Sub-county says some owners of these farms were promised to be given between Shs3 million and 4 million received less than a million shillings in compensation. “The company that was contracted by Total never engaged with local leaders to explain some of these compensation issues properly. We only saw them come and prospect and leave after failing to discover oil,” he said.

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Related companies: Total