Gov’t Acquires Land for Oil Pipeline Labour Camp

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

The government on Thursday officially concluded the acquisition of the land which will accommodate main camp and pipe yard in Kakumiro district.

Each labour camp is estimated to host 1,000 workers, including construction crew- welders, drivers, foremen and ICT specialists.

The labour camps for the crude oil export pipeline which will transport crude from Hoima to Tanga port in Tanzania shall be located in Hoima, Mubende, Rakai and Kakumiro, some of the 10 districts to be traversed by the EACOP.

Martin Tiffen, the managing director for EACOP company limited while speaking during the commissioning of the acquisition of the said land on Thursday, 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 this makes the project move at a fast pace.

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 Agreement.

Of the 47 acres of land, all the 32 project affected persons have been fully compensated and the land is now free of conflicts.  He says they are in the process of constructing 174 replacement houses to the people to be affected by the construction of the pipeline.

Honey Malinga, the Director, Directorate of Petroleum, 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 Kirungi Byakutaga, while officiating at the function hailed the exemplary manner in which project-affected persons were engaged, in compliance with the laws, regulations and customs of Uganda and with utmost respect for environment, local culture and human rights.

He said because of oil and gas discovery, Bunyoro kingdom is witnessing transformation with new neatly paved roads which have enhanced residents’ access to markets and other social services. He says the oil discovery has already provided employment opportunities to the locals in the Bunyoro sub region.

However, he said this has also brought many people into the region in search of business opportunities, therefore, putting a challenge on existing social services.

The Premier called for efforts to manage peoples’ expectations while mining oil, and in an environmentally sustainable manner to conserve the sensitive biodiversity of the region. He said there is also need to train youths with skills to work in the oil and gas industry following agitation of being sidelined already under the pretext that they lack skills. 

Onesmus Mugyenyi, Deputy Executive Director for Advocates Coalition for development and Environment-ACODE which hosts 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. He too demanded for transparency and full accountability during the implementation of the EACOP Project.

The 1,443km crude oil export pipeline will transport Uganda’s crude oil from Hoima in Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga port in Tanzania. 

It is envisaged to be the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world and will cross through 10 districts in Uganda, for a distance of 296 kilometers and 25 districts in Tanzania, covering eight regions and 25 districts.

According to the agreed plan, the pipeline route will begin from Hoima through Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo, Kyotera, and Rakai and cross the Tanzania border between Masaka and Bukoba, and traverse Tanzania through Kahama, Singida, Kondoa, into Tanga.

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.

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