By Our Reporter
KAMPALA- SHIFTMEDIA – As the government starts to think of raising money to compensate the persons affected by the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline project, issues are already arising regarding ghost numbers.
The EACOP 296km route will affect over 3,000 persons in 25 sub-counties in 10 districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo, Masaka, Rakai, and Kyotera.
The USD$3.5b investment will traverse 1,147 km in Tanzania, passing through eight regions in 25 districts.
The Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and the three oil companies, CNOOC, TOTAL, and TULLOW PLC will be the (eacop.) shareholders of the EACOP Project
Now apparently new revelations indicate how some sharp and ‘corrupt’ top government officials have already secured plots of land in the designated routes to rip big from the compensation monies.
A new report indicates that the number of Project Affected Persons-PAPs has already shot up to over 1,000.
Though the initial approved resettlement action plan showed that a total of 3,792 people were due for compensation, the number now seems far more than that.
It beats ones understanding how the initial 3,096 people with land interests and 696 license holders have now shot up to 4,038.
Our initial investigations on the ground show that wealthy and corrupt Ugandans allegedly bought off the original occupants knowing compensation funds were huge.
Experts in the oil sector have revealed that compensation will be another hurdle to climb.
According to Robert Kasande, the permanent secretary Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the government needs USD18billion (Ugx 65 billion) to clear affected persons.
Kasande told URN that the entire process is so far moving in the right direction though earlier reports had indicated there would be a delay.
Currently, Civil Society organizations working in the Albertine areas like the Water Governance Institute are on the ground assessing and monitoring the social and environmental safeguard compliance of EACOP.
Bazira Mugisha the Executive Director Water Governance Institute notes that issues of environmental conservation must also be taken into consideration.