PAPs IN BULIISA HALT THE OPERATIONS OF OIL COMPANIES DEMANDING FOR COMPESATION

The residents of Ngwedo Sub County in Buliisa affected by the Central Processing Facility (Tilenga Project) have cut off the operations of Total E&P Uganda and Tullow Oil Uganda in their land protesting the delayed compensation and relocation from government.
The project affected persons (PAPs) had put 5th December as the cutoff date of the operations until the government compensates and relocates them; according to the Chairperson of the Resettlement Planning Committee, Mr. Jealous Mugisha Mulimba.
Mr. Mulindwa who is one of the affected people says that in a meeting held on 26th October this year with government officials, oil companies and affected persons, the government Chief valuer promised to give them feedback on when to be compensated in two weeks’ time but 6 weeks down the road they have waited in vain.
He expresses concern that since May when the oil companies stopped the residents from carrying out any business on the land acquired, they have been grappling with lack of food and source of livelihood thinking that the government would quicken the process of compensation and relocation.
“We put posters that nobody should enter into our land until we are compensated and we have put the cutoff date as 5th December until we are compensated,” said Mr. Mulindwa in a phone interview.
The PAPs also want to be paid 21 million shillings per acre instead of 2.1 m that the government intends to pay per acre of land.
Talking to Green Radio, the Buliisa district chairman, Mr. Simon Agaba Kinene confirmed the reports saying the PAPs are appealing the government to expedite the process of compensation. He called on the government to look into the matter as soon as possible blaming the delay to the chief government valuer.
However, an official from government who preferred anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media blamed the district leaders for failing to manage the high expectations and advise the residents on the compensation rates. He said they have exaggerated the rates from 2.1 m to 21 million yet they have failed to explain why they increased the rates; a reason the compensation consultant contracted by Total E&P has delayed trying to investigate where the problem is.
By the time of filing this story, the Public Relations Officer for Total E&P, Mr. Chris Ocowun, said he was not aware of the matter.
The project that is affecting 811 people requires 310 hectares of land where mined oil will be cleaned of impurities before it is taken for refining in Buseruka oil refinery in Hoima district.
Total E&P Uganda, Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Ltd and the government have finished assessing properties for the PAPs in eleven villages which include; Kasenyi, Kisomere, Uduk II, Kibambura, Mvule, Ajigo, Kirama, Kigwera north East, Kigwera south East and Bikongoro.
BY PRECIOUS NATURINDA

NAPE MOBILIZES COMMUNITY RADIOS IN UGANDA TO FORM A FORUM

In a move to address the needs of communities, boost access to information and mobilize communities, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) has mobilized community radios in Uganda to form a forum.

The forum will help community radios meet and share ideas together on how to improve on their roles of serving communities and how to overcome the challenges they face; according to Mr. Allan Kalangi, the NAPE Programs Officer in charge of the Community Green Radio.

Mr. Adolf Mbaine of Makerere University said Community radio are channels that citizens use to obtain and share information and also participate in public life especially in times of media commercialization which makes it expensive for local citizens.

This was during a consultative meeting for community radios on the formation of the forum that was held at Muzabibu Hotel in Mbarara on 13th November 2017.

He said despite this great role, the sustainability of community radio has been a challenge due to lack of enough funds especially when donors pull out which leads them to accept temptation from business community hence turning into commercial radios.

Kalangi said that if formed, the forum will work towards ensuring sustainability of Community radios by reflecting on the challenges and find solutions together and also joiningefforts to fundraise.

The NAPE Executive Director, Mr. Frank Muramuzi called upon community radios to use strategic radio approaches that will the direct communities towards helping themselves by taking actions that change their lives.

He said NAPE is devoted to ensuring that a forum is formed to help community radios get together.

The radios that had preventives at the workshop were, Freedom Radio in Kabale, Kagadi-Kibaale Community Radio, Radio Ruhiira in Isingiro district, Radio West in Mbarara District and BFM in Bushenyi District.

Compiled by Precious Naturinda