Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has today delivered 150 goats and 75 heifers to families that were driven away from their land to pave way for the construction of Uganda’s first and only oil refinery in Buseruka Sub County in Hoima District. The beneficiaries are those who chose to be relocated instead of being compensated with cash.
“Today we fulfilled one of our commitments in the RAP on Restoration and Improvements of the livelihoods of Refinery PAPs by delivering to them 150 Goats and 75 Heifers at their new resettlement area at Kyakaboga, Buseruka Sub county, Hoima District. Each Household received a cow and two goats,” the ministry said in a Saturday Facebook post.
The energy ministry August last year also commissioned forty-six houses located in Kyakaboga Parish to the eligible households who opted for resettlement during the land acquisition process for the refinery and other petroleum infrastructure in Kabaale Parish, Buseruka Subcounty Hoima District.
To develop its oil and gas resources, government through the energy minister acquired a 29 square kilometres piece of land in Kabaale Township, Buseruka Sub-county, Hoima District for the development and production of the country’s oil and gas resources.
On the said land, according to Eng Simon D’Ujanga, Minister of State for Energy, a 60, 000 barrels per day refinery, airport, petrochemical industries, storage facilities and other related infrastructures are to be constructed for the smooth development and production of oil and gas.
The Permanent Secretary in the energy ministry, Robert Kasande, recently told the media that as part of the resettlement, livelihood restoration activities will commence.
"This includes drilling of additional boreholes to supplement the one already installed, connection of electricity to the houses which already have conduits, opening of the roads in the resettlement area, assisting the PAPs to clear their farm land and construction of a commercial and community centre whose designs are being developed by Hoima district local Government.”
The acquisition of this land and eventual displacement of resident who occupied according to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating in the area was mired by violations of human rights, unfair and delayed compensation (relocation) and disruption of households. Up to today, many families have not received their compensation or relocated.
Global Rights Alert, one of the NGOs supporting the affected persons says that despite the clear provisions in the Constitution of Uganda, the Land Act, the Uganda National Land Policy and other numerous human rights treaties that Uganda is party to, respect for human rights continues to dwindle.
"The land evictions violate all these provisions yet government is entrusted with the mandate to protect its people. The constitution protects the right of every one to own property in Uganda either as an individual or in association with others." it said in a recent statement.
Many of the affected persons chose to go to the courts of law to get redress but court delays have ensured that justice doesn’t prevail. The court delays have been condemned by NGOs like African Institute for Energy Governance.
On 14 March, 2018, Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) wrote an open letter to Rebecca Kadaga, the parliament's speaker for parliament to use its oversight powers to act on findings and recommendations of the December 2017 auditor general's report on injustices against the refinery affected persons.