While government of Uganda and other stakeholders strive to develop every aspect of the energy sector, the importance of women as modern heads of homes and caretakers of children must be highlighted and their rights, including owning of land, protected, Norwegian ambassador to Uganda, H.E Susan Eckey, said at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development Joint Sector Review.
The ambassador was making a statement on behalf of development partners at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo wherethe Joint Sector Review meeting took place. She said that Uganda is facing many challenge as the country audaciously moves to exploit her natural resources.
Challenges like a high growing population and issues of compensation of land as country tries to develop the required infrastructures are prominent. She encouraged government to solve these and other challenges. It is here in her speech that she said rights of women and children regarding owning of land should be protected.
“The development of energy sector should along the way improve the lives of women in terms of owning land rights, security, financial stability, skills development and in other aspects.
Government and other stakeholders should highlight the importance of women as heads of homes and caretakers of children.” AmbEckey said at a press conference on the Joint Sector Review meeting.
Ownership of land in Uganda is predominately a male affair. This is majorly brought about by cultural norm which prohibits women from inheritating their parents land. Women also have less access to well-paying job to enable buy their own land. This leaves them at the mercy of their fathers, brothers and husbands.
In her quest to exploit its oil and gas, minerals and several sources of energy, government needs land. This land it must acquire from citizens. When government compensates land owners, women and children are sidelined by the greedy husbands, brothers and fathers.
Uganda recently acquired land to develop a refinery in Hoima, western Uganda but many women didn’t benefit from this compensation. Many were left homeless as husbands drunk all the money, married other wives or blatantly ran away with the money.
Also, Uganda will soon construct a crude export pipeline to Tanzania port of Tangaand products pipeline to Rwanda plus other related infrastructures like an airport. These and other infrastructure will require government and investors to acquire and compensate land owners.
The ministry of energy and ministry development annually organizes the Joint Sector Review. The ministry’s permannt secretary Robert Kasande said the Joint Sector Review is organized to account to stakeholders on how government used resources in the previuis year and obtain feedback on strategies to get the best of natural resources.
The theme for this year’s theme was ‘Energy and Mineral Resources for Employment Creation, Value Addition, Industrialization and Local Content Development.” A Sector performance report for the year 2016 – 2017 highlights was also launched. It highlights some of the achievement and plans the ministry has for power, mining and oil and gas.
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