Oil refinery PAPs to take children to a school five kilometers away from their residence

As schools open for a new year in line with Uganda’s Education curriculum this year, Over 40 affected persons of the proposed oil refinery in Kabaale Parish Buseruka Sub county in Hoima District Western Uganda have desperately chosen to take their children to Buseruka Primary school which is about 5 km from their residence in Kyakaboga village, Nyakabingo parish in the same sub-county.

According to the Oil Refinery Residents Association (ORRA) Vice chairperson, Innocent Tumwebaze, the residents are prompted by the fact that new academic year 2018 has started and Government hasn’t re-opening Nyahaira primary school located in the refinery area.

“The project affected persons (PAPs) were promised by Government that upon occupying the newly constructed houses, Nyahaira primary school would be re-instated but nothing yet has been done”, Tumwebaze told Community Green radio.

Despite Government promise of land titles, water and electricity for the 46 resettled families, fulfillment hasn’t been effected fully.

Mr. Joseph Lubega Kamanyire, the Education officer in charge Buseruka Sub County admits that the Government promised the PAPs a school after resettlement but since the term has just begun, patience is needed.

“The PAPs should be patient for a while because the term has just opened and Government cannot break the pledge, I thank parents who have devised means of taking children to nearby schools” says Mr. Lubega.

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) has been working hand in hand with the Oil Refinery affected communities through its programmes like the Sustainability School and Community Green Radio amplifying their voices thus encouraging them to fight for their rights on resettlement/ relocation and compensation and better services associated with them.

According to Hoima District Development Plan 2015/2016 -2019/2020, Buseruka sub-county school drop-out rate stands at 8% being a major challenge faced by the education sector ever since land acquisition for the refinery project affected Kyapaloni and Nyahaira Primary School, the number of Government owned schools reduced to 9.

Compiled by Dorcus Drijaru