Uganda: How oil-related activities are causing social & economic tension

Author: Daily Monitor (Uganda), Published on: 8 July 2019

"Are oil activities hurting Bunyoro heritage?"

Uganda’s oil and sector whose development took off in 2006 after the discovery of commercially viable oil reserves in the Albertine  Graben is estimated to be in the range of $20 billion (about Shs74 trillion). Such big monies, as expected, since most oil infrastructure is being set up in Bunyoro region, Bunyoro Kinddom is being impacted. So far, the road network connecting different oil towns and facilities like a refinery at Kingfisher oil project, a Central Processing facility at Kasenyi in Buliisa District, an airport in Buseruka Sub-county. The construction of the oil pipeline is about to start. The pipeline will obviously be linked to smaller feeder pipelines under the Tilenga project that will produce an estimated 190,000 to 200,000 barrels of oil per day when production starts...

Buliisa District Chairman Mr Simon Agaba Kinene says the activities have displaced hundreds. “Much as some of them were compensated, the rates that were determined by the government according to the law, were unfavourable and they are now finding life challenging,” he said. He said that even those who were resettled at Buseruka housing estate are finding it hard to resettle because it’s a new cultural experience. “For us we live in clans. When you put us in a resettlement camp where a Musansira lives with a Musimo, a Mubyasi and a Mulima, somehow our social interaction and culture is interfered with,” Mr Kinene says. He says some people whose land has been identified for oil-relayed projects like roads are not compensated on time yet they are not allowed to access the land. “This delayed compensation couple with non-satisfactory resettlement packages is causing social and economic tension in the region,” he said. “These are the issues that have to be handled properly to ensure that people own the oil industry to prevent it from becoming a curse as some people fear.”

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