Pay oil-affected people

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A group photo of some of the EACOP affected communities

Recently, CSO working to promote environment conservation and community livelihoods organized a community meeting in the EACOP-affected districts.

The meeting aimed at ensuring that oil activities do not damage our biodiversity and avoid violating citizens’ land rights. The meeting came after the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development informed the public that government is planning to sign the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the oil projects.

It is commendable that governments plan to sign FID to have first oil flow into the country. The communities noted that there is a lot of hunger in their homes since government placed a cut-off date of October 2019 stopping families from growing perennial crops such as cassava, bananas, fruits and others.

The above proposals were dangerous to citizens, considering that over 98 per cent of Ugandans still depend on land for farming.

How did government expect these people to survive without their land? I, therefore, call upon government to fast-track the payment of EACOP-affected people. In addition, NEMA should put in place mitigation plans for oil projects and make them public. This will help citizens to hold the government and oil companies accountable.

Shadia Nakazibwe

Program Assistant at Environment Governance Institute (EGI)