AFIEGO's Report Accuses EACOP Of Impoverishing Project Affected Persons

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project has, to a great extent, impoverished the Project Affected People (PAPs), a research report released November 7, 2023 by Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) reveals.

The NGO says the research was conducted between April and November 2023. Two hundred and thirty-seven (237) respondents from 31 villages, 16 sub-counties and six of the ten EACOP-affected districts in Uganda participated in the research.

The participants were drawn from districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Mubende, Lwengo and Kyotera. They included EACOP project-affected persons, local council leaders, women, the elderly and cultural as well as opinion leaders.

The research assessed the impact that the EACOP project has had on the affected people’s access to land, the productivity of the replacement land that the affected people acquired after being displaced for the EACOP and the changes in income the affected people experienced after being displaced for the EACOP.

The research also assessed whether the EACOP had enhanced the affected people’s access to social services such as schools, health centres and cleans water among others. The EACOP-affected people’s access to employment opportunities in the oil and gas sector was also assessed among others.

The Chief Executive Officer of AFIEGO, Dickens Kamugisha, argues that the Ugandan government and other promoters of the oil and gas industry in Africa have made arguments that the industry is needed to promote socio-economic growth; however, this has not been the case. "Our research shows that instead of improving the socioeconomic conditions of the affected people, the EACOP led to a regression in the affected people’s lives.

We hope that the Ugandan government and other stakeholders will use this study, and others that highlight the impact of the oil and gas sector on the affected people, to promote better investment choices. It is best to invest in sectors that have a positive socio-economic impact on Ugandans.”

Amina Acola, a lawyer, says the study showed that the EACOP project developers have contravened various rights that the affected people should have enjoyed as guaranteed under Uganda’s Constitution. "Among others, the affected people’s property rights and their right to make a living were negatively impacted by the project. CSOs can support the affected people to seek justice through litigation among others,” Acola said.

Comfert Aganyira of AFIEGO explains that the study also demonstrated a failure by the EACOP project proponents to comply with key provisions under the International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards, especially standard 5 which provides for restoration of project-affected people to the same or a better position after their displacement. We hope that financial institutions will take note of this while deciding whether to participate in the EACOP project or not, she stated.

The following are some of the research findings as indicated in the report.

• That 96.6% of the EACOP-affected people who received cash compensation and bought replacement land between 2022 and June 2023 did not get land equivalent to that taken for the EACOP project.

• The above failure arose from the fact that the affected people received delayed, inadequate and unfair compensation. 78.1% of the respondents that participated in the study indicated that the EACOP compensation they received was delayed, unfair and inadequate. 

• In addition, the people indicated that the value of land in their local areas appreciated in value. For instance, 7% more affected persons indicated that an acre of land in their local areas cost between UGX 11 to 20 million after their displacement while 13.1% more people indicated that an acre of land cost more than UGX 21 million after their displacement. This made buying equivalent replacement land difficult.

• The research also found that the majority of the affected people’s replacement land was less productive than that that they owned before the EACOP. For instance, 41.4% indicated that their replacement land was of low productivity while 33.3% indicated that it was of medium productivity. Only 11.4% noted that their replacement land was productive while 3.3% indicated that their land is very productive. Changing seasons, contributed to by the fossil fuel industry, were also cited as a barrier to good crop productivity.

• In relation to crop productivity, the research found that the affected people experienced changes in crop harvests after their displacement for the pipeline. The most notable change was seen in the affected persons who used to harvest over 51kg of crops per year. A decline of 14.8% was see in the above persons.

• The research assessed the changes in income experienced by the affected people. The study established that there was a reduction in the PAPs’ income after their displacement. For instance, the number of affected persons earning an average annual income of over UGX 300,000 per year declined by 20.8% after the people’s displacement.

• The study also established that 49% of the EACOP-affected people that participated in the study obtained loans. When asked what the loans were acquired for, 65.8% of the respondents indicated that they wanted to feed their families, 28.7% indicated that they wanted to enhance their businesses and 5.4% indicated that they wanted to buy replacement land or complete their resettlement houses. Among others, access to food was difficult for the affected households due to land use restrictions placed on the affected people’s property due to the EACOP project.

• In relation to social services, the study found that 37% children of school-going age from the households that participated in the study were out of school. 21% of these were girls while 16% were boys. In addition, only 15% of the affected people that participated in the study had access to safe water.

• Further, none of the research’s respondents, majority of whom were of working age, were employed in the oil and gas sector.

Compensation Of EACOP PAPs To Be Completed First Quarter Of Next Year

 By George Businge

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda has 2073 Project Affected Persons (PAPs) and 98% of these have already signed compensation agreements, officials say.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline is a Pipeline that will transport crude oil from Kabalega Industrial Park in Hoima District to Tanga Port in Tanzania; and then to the World Market.

Fred Bazara, the Community Relations Coordinator EACOP Uganda told journalists during a recent media tour of the Pipeline that before the end of this year, they will have covered at least 95% of PAPs.

According to the Community Relations Coordinator, over 170 PAPs have been built new houses while others applied for cash compensation.

He says they want to make sure that, by the end of the first quarter of the next financial year 2023/2024, they are done with the compensation and then the construction of the Pipeline begins.

Ahamad Arafat, the Construction Manager of the EACOP Project, says the Construction of Camp One in Kabaale Hoima is underway. They will proceed to other places in order to construct other camps for the workers, he said.

Stella Amony, the Public Relations Officer EACOP Uganda, says the Project has done many good things for the Project Affected Persons in the areas where it is passing.

Joseph Mukasa, the Environmental Specialist of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, reveals that they are so sensitive about wetlands and forests during the execution of their work.

The media tour of the pipeline was conducted in the districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Mubende and Ssembabule.

EACOP Worries Uganda's Climate Safe Future

By Okwi John Peter

In an era defined by growing environmental awareness and collective commitment to combat climate change, global infrastructure developments must align with the global pursuit of a climate-safe future. 

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) which aims to transport oil from Uganda to Tanzania has come under intense scrutiny for its potential impact on the environment and its compatibility with the urgent need to reduce greenhouse emissions. 

While Uganda, a country known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife and vibrant culture, has been making strides in the past years to develop a climate-safe future plan. 

However, the ongoing developments surrounding the East African crude oil Pipeline have raised significant worries about the nation’s commitment to environmental sustainability and ability to achieve its climate goals. 

According to the Uganda National Metrological reports (UNMA) 2019, the climate change country profile for Uganda shows a statistically significant decreasing trend in the annual rainfall with a temperature rise of 1.3 degrees delicious. The increasing temperatures have resulted in increased trends in the frequency of hot days and nights.

However, with the EACOP the climate crisis in Uganda stands to worsen as the full value chain emissions of the 25-year lifetime project is estimated to yield 377.6 million metric tons of CO2 in the atmosphere.

This includes construction phase 0.24Mt CO2, Operational emissions 6.55 MtCO2, refining stage 34.52 MtCO2 and Product use Emissions 330.71MtCO2. 

In this foreseen dangerous trajectory of Green House Emissions in the atmosphere, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) assessments still warns nations of the dire rise in global temperatures that will consequently descend on humanity’s health and livelihoods which may further spark situations like flash flooding due to rise in sea levels, heat waves, food insecurity unforeseen worse case scenarios of poverty and death amongst populations. 

An increase in temperature or changes in rainfall intensity, distribution, and patterns are likely to have a direct effect on ecosystem functions, services, and species distribution and survival throughout Uganda.

Projected climate change is likely to adversely affect the hydrological cycle of forested water catchments by weakening their capacity to maintain water cycles and recharge groundwater.

This impact is likely to lead to a significant shift in flora and fauna distribution, disturb the ecological balance between species, cause habitat degradation due to the increased prevalence of invasive species, and increase the occurrence of wildfires. As a result, the overall availability of ecosystem-specific goods and services that support human livelihoods is expected to be adversely affected.

In the wake of all this, Uganda has to rethink its path toward promoting inclusive climate-safe and low-emission developments as nationally committed in program 9 of NDP3 and National Climate Change Policy 2015.

It should as well honour Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement which calls on parties to make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-resilient developments.

Governments, corporations and export credit agencies giving insurance and guarantees to these atmospherically dirty fossil projects should reconsider their investment decision and prioritize investments that accelerate the transition to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. 

It's only by making choices that prioritize both economic development and environmental protection can we hope to create a future that is truly climate-safe and sustainable for generations to come.

Okwi John Peter is the Programs Officer at Environment Governance Institute



Govt acquires 47 acres of land for EACOP labor camp

By Busiinge George

The government has acquired a 47-acre piece of land in Kasambya village, Katikara sub-county, Kakumiro district where one of the four labour camps will be established during the construction of a 1,443-kilometer East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)

The government has officially concluded the acquisition of the land which will accommodate a main camp and a pipe yard with each labour camp estimated to host 1, 000 workers, including construction crew- welders, drivers, foremen and ICT specialists among others

On 24th of January this year, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, handed over an operation license to the Managing Director of the EACOP Company Limited, Martin Tiffen.

Tiffen, while speaking during the commissioning of the acquisition of the said land, said this signals the start of the construction of the project since 68% out of 3,648 project-affected persons were compensated in Uganda and 91% in Tanzania.

He says the acquired land will be transferred to the Uganda Land Commission and leased to EACOP Company Limited to develop the project itself as per the Host Government's Agreement.

Honey Malinga, the Director of Petroleum in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said this is part of the commercialization journey where 50% of the crude will be for export and 50% refined locally.

Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister, Andrew Byakutaga, says oil discovery has enabled the region to witness tremendous development. The region is now opened up with good roads to the rest of the regions.

The Premier has further revealed that he has been receiving complaints from companies in Bunyoro saying they have been sidelined and has asked oil companies to address these issues.

Onesmus Mugyenyi, the Deputy Executive Director for Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) which hosts the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas demanded that civil society organizations (CSOs) be allowed to freely monitor the EACOP project in order to fully be equipped with credible information.

Of the 47 acres of land, the entire 32 project-affected persons have been fully compensated and they are also in the process of constructing 174 replacement houses for the people to be affected by the construction of the pipeline.

Uganda has 6.9 billion confirmed barrels of oil since 2006 where 1.4 billion barrels are considered recoverable. 

The projects include a 60, 000 barrels per day oil refinery which will pick crude from two central processing facilities (CPFs) at Kingfisher and Tilenga in Kikuube and Buliisa districts.

 The labour camps for the crude oil export pipeline which will transport crude from Hoima District in Uganda to Tanga port in Tanzania shall be located in Hoima, Mubende, Rakai and Kakumiro.

The President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has previously revealed that oil is not a problem to the country as it has been said by some environmental activists.

Govt Tells Pipeline Company To Address Social Issues Raised

The government wants the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Company Limited (EACOP Limited) to pay attention to and swiftly address issues that the government, civil society organisations and members of the public are raising.

The EACOP, a $3.5bn pipeline, expected to transport Uganda's crude to the international market, has been red-flagged by CSOs who say it poses a climate risk. 

The CSOs also say the 1444km long pipeline will distort the social setting of the communities wherever it will pass as it treks from Hoima in western Uganda to Tanga port in Tanzania. 

The government call was contained in a press statement announcing that EACOP Limited had applied for a construction license to enable it to kickstart the development of the pipeline.   

Honey Malinga, the Ag. director of petroleum at the ministry of energy and mineral development last Friday said the government will process the application following the law.

He pledged continued government support to ensure seamless implementation of EACOP and that they look forward to the commencement of the pipeline construction. 

Martin Tiffen while applying to the ministry said all is set for the work to commence.

John B. Habumugisha Deputy Managing Director speaking at the recent 3rd National Content Conference organised by Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) reassured the public that anything they 'do around EACOP must be stringently compliant to the environmental and social requirements.' 

"In terms of environment, we have avoided most of the sensitive areas & the design levels are stringent. Our system ensures that we don't have issues with spillage. -Deputy GM John Habumugisha," Habumugisha said.


EACOP Route SMEs To Get Enterprise Training, Mentorship

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has signed a contract with Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) and other partners to build the capacity of over 200 Ugandan enterprises along the crude export oil pipeline route to compete for contracts to supply Uganda’s oil and gas sector, and other related opportunities. 

The consortium of partners, which is led by SBIL includes Conexus Oil & Gas, Solid Rock Life & Business, and Living Earth Uganda, will carry out the training of over 200 Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the ten (10) districts along the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) route. The districts are Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Gomba, Mubende, Lwengo, Sembabule, Kyotera, and Rakai. 

The business development training is one of the three major components of the MSMEs business linkages project along the EACOP project being implemented by the PAU with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB). 

The latest development comes following the announcement of the Final Investment Decision (FID) for Uganda’s oil and gas projects on 1st February 2022.

The FID announcement signifies the commitment of the oil companies to invest close to US$ 10 billion to develop Uganda’s oil and gas resources through the implementation of the Tilenga Project in Buliisa and Nwoya districts; the Kingfisher Project in Hoima and Kikuube Districts (approximately US$6-8bn); and the EACOP. 

While addressing the event, Mr. Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director, PAU said these investments present enormous opportunities for value addition in the country and there are many opportunities for Ugandan enterprises to participate.

“However, taking up the opportunities will require adequate preparation and the enterprises will have to demonstrate that they have the required capacity to deliver against sector requirements. The objective of this business development consultancy, therefore, is to build the capacity of MSMEs along the EACOP pipeline.” 

Tony Otoa, the Chief Executive SBIL said SBIL is pleased to lead this consortium of partners which brings a lot of value to this project.

 “Beyond training these MSMEs, we will offer mentorship and opportunities to access to finance and markets. Therefore, I can confidently say that today’s signing is our way of ensuring Uganda’s growth is realized and key to this is supporting local enterprises by way of building their capacity to ensure they compete for contracts to supply Uganda’s oil and gas sector.” 

At the same event, the PAU also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) aimed at enhancing private sector participation in the oil and gas sector. 

Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer at PSFU revealed that the partnership was timely as the private sector was grappling with solving the problem of youth unemployment. 

“Through this partnership, the private sector will not only bring on board the necessary skills for capacity building, but we will also harness all the opportunities presented by the huge investment in the oil and gas sector to further enhance Uganda’s economic development,” said Asiimwe. 

Mr. Asiimwe added that the oil and gas sector is expected to increase Uganda’s GDP by 22% by end of the construction phase and will employ 14,000 people directly and 45,000 people indirectly. 

“As PSFU, we anticipate that at least 30% of the total expenditure on investment in Uganda will be retained and this, we believe, will significantly change the private sector,” stressed Asiimwe. 

The PAU’s mandate is to monitor and regulate the exploration, development, and production, together with the refining, gas conversion, transportation, and storage of petroleum in Uganda. 

This includes ensuring that petroleum operations in Uganda are carried out in accordance with the relevant laws, regulations, guidelines, statutes, and in line with international best practice for the petroleum industry. In addition, the PAU is required to monitor national participation in the sector. 

On its part, SBIL trains and facilitates MSMEs to develop resilient businesses, access ready markets, finances, and other business support resources. Since founding in 2008, SBIL has trained 3,234 Ugandan entrepreneurs attached to 2,007 SMEs.

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