By George Busiinge
Government of Uganda together with the oil companies Total E&P Uganda and Tullow Uganda Operations have formed and inaugurated the Buliisa District Resettlement Coordination Committee (DIRCO), to raise awareness of resettlement requirements and fostering cooperation.
Mr. Simon Agaba Kinene was elected Chairperson and Mr. Bernard Tugume was elected Secretary of the 16-member Committee unopposed at a ceremony that took place at Buliisa district resource center on Tuesday April 11, 2017. Mr. Kinene is also the Buliisa District Chairperson and Mr. Tugume is the Buliisa District Senior Lands Management Officer.
The Committee comprises of the Chief Administrative Officer, Resident District Commissioner, Local Council (LC) V Chairman, LC3 chairpersons of Ngwedo, Kigwera, Butiaba, Buliisa, Biiso, Kihungya and Buliisa Town Council and District Lands Officer.
Other members include; representatives of the District Land Board, NGO forum, Bunyoro Kingdom, Buliisa District Community -Development Officer, Women Council representative, Total and Tullow representatives, Petroleum Authority of Uganda and Community Liaison Officers of the contractors.
As government of Uganda and the oil companies move into the development phase to prepare for the production of Uganda’s oil, this will necessitate land acquisition for temporary access and permanent occupation as well as easements for the establishment of production facilities such as roads, pipelines, well pads and a Central Processing Facility among other infrastructures,
The need for acquisition will involve the preparation of a number of Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs) which will be conducted by Atacama Consulting in association with Synergy Global Consulting Limited and Nomad Consulting, on behalf of Government and Oil companies.
DIRCO will act as the primary interface between Total and Tullow, the local Resettlement Planning Committees composed of the concerned persons and the Resettlement Advisory Committee (RAC) at central level. The committee will also function as the primary vehicle for the dissemination of information to the affected communities.
The preparation of the RAP requires regular engagement with key stakeholders where advice and support will be sought. Mr. Kinene called for a high level of transparency among the stakeholders in order to register success in the oil and gas sector.