Con Men Target East African Crude Oil Pipeline Route Buy Fake Coordinates

As Uganda and Tanzania prepare for a $20 Billion investment in the Oil and gas sector, speculators, con men and women have started buying fake coordinates where the pipeline will pass.

Rose Nakawuma, a Community Based Monitor based in Gomba district says Con men and women are taking advantage of local people to buy them off at cheap prices.

Winnie Kyobutungi , the Gomba District Natural Resources Officer says land grabbing and speculation on land has gone up.

Kyobutungi says delayed evaluation on the pipeline route is causing a lot of anxiety and could lead to untold outcomes.

BunyoroAlbertine Petroleum Network on Environmental Conservation has organised a sub International Dialogue in Masaka district on securing livelihoods of citizens in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project.

Vicent Kinene, Mubende District Natural Resources Officer accused Total East Africa Midstream B.V for sending contractors who are avoiding district officials and prefer to deal with people directly.

Latibu Kyomuhendo, Community Relations Coordinator says the official coordinates of the pipeline are still hdden to avoid speculators and con people.

“Most speculators have bought hot air because the survey first covered 2 kilometers adjacent to the route. We reduced it to 100 meters and eventually 30 Meters”.

Kyomuhendo says the true coordinates are still a secret of government of Uganda. They will be released after sensitizing people on the pipeline route.

Uganda–Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline (UTCOP), also known as the East African Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP), is under route construction and intended to transport Crude oil from Uganda’s oil fields to the Port of Tanga, Tanzania on the Indian Ocean.

6,000 jobs are available for Ugandans in the oil and gas sector. The jobs are in the engineering and management sections such as control centre operators, geological and petroleum engineers. The sector is handling 3 main projects; East African Crude Oil Pipeline, Central Processing Facility and oil refinery. Government is pledging to provide scholarships in the short run, for Ugandans to study the requisite courses abroad, to bridge the skills gap.

 Since 2006, Uganda’s oil and gas sector has transitioned from the exploration and appraisal phase to the development phase in preparation for early production expected in 2020. A number of infrastructural developments are planned in the country to facilitate oil production.One of the aforementioned developments is the East African Crude Pipeline and its feeder pipelines.

The government of Uganda,in partnership with the government of the Republic of Tanzania,is soon embarking on constructing the 1,445 Km long crude oil transportation pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania.The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) scoping exercise for the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) was concluded in July 2017,giving a basis for the detailed ESIA study, while the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) is ongoing and expected to be completed by the end of this year (2018). The 1,445 Km line will be the longest electrically heated pipeline in the world, transporting approximately 200,000 barrels of oil per day. The FEED will detail technical, technology and financial requirements needed to start production and export of oil and gas resources from Uganda through Tanga port in Tanzania.

This pipeline project presents potential opportunities for communities within the vicinity of the project and the country at large.  These opportunities may include creation of direct and indirect jobs, provision of goods and services, improving access to social services like transportation and health care among others. However, such major infrastructure is often associated with a number of social matters including land acquisitions, resettlement, compensation, livelihood alterations, and immigration issues, among others. These issues require careful consideration in routing and construction design.

Preliminary studies conducted by the developers through their consultants indicate that the EACOP and feeder pipeline projects will most likely transverse 11 districts which include Buliisa, Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo, Kyotera and Rakai[1]. The districts have the highest population densities which requires that the likely social, cultural and environmental aspects associated with the pipeline project are discussed and planned for to avoid potential negative impacts on people and the natural resources that sustain their lives.

The policy and legal framework governing the oil and gas sector in Uganda recognizes the role of different stakeholders in the development of the sector and encourages stakeholder participation in the entire development chain.

It is against this background that Bunyoro Albertine Petroleum Network on Environmental Conservation (BAPENECO), in partnership with the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas (CSCO), is organizing a dialogue and discussion event for the various stakeholders within the districts along the pipeline route on 20th November 2018 in Masaka district.

The overall objective of the dialogue is to create a platform for stakeholders from the project-affected districtsto learn and discuss the opportunities and challenges in the petroleum sector as presented by the proposed Hoima – Tanga pipeline to the social, economic and environmental well being of the county and its citizens.  The specific objectives of the learning event are to;

  • Create awareness among the various stakeholders within the district about the likely implications of the EACOP projects on people’s livelihood and environment.
  • Collectively identify opportunities to minimize the potential social, economic and environmental challenges associated with construction of oil infrastructure and in particular the EACOP, as well as maximizing the positive impacts.
  • Generate consensus on the social and environmental aspects to bring to Government and private sector attention on pipeline-related matters that have a being on the livelihoods of the citizens affected by the EACOP.

To enlist maximum stakeholder participation and enhanced learning, the dialogue will feature structured presentations based on key thematic areas.The facilitators will be given advance guidance on the purpose and expected outcome to guide the learning event towards the goal. Additionally, there will be interactive sessions for questions and answers to allow participants to comprehend the information. Participants will also be guided through group working sessions to generate key recommendations for meaningful planning and engagements related to the EACOP project within the districts. Some of the follow up actions may involve revision of compensation rates, developing community sensitization plans, Environmental action plans targeting sensitive ecological environments and district audiences, among others.

Expected outcomes

Enhanced knowledge by the stakeholders on the opportunities and challenges associated with oil infrastructure development and in particular, the East African Crude Pipeline.

Recommendations and proposals generated by the various stakeholders to maximize opportunities and mitigate the negative social and environmental impacts.

Participation

It is expected that 50 participants will take part in the learning event. They will include selected district technical officers,district political leaders (including District Council members), district land board members, Community Development Officers, District Environment Officers, representatives from NGOs and CBOs, the private sector and communities. It will also benefit from experiences of Tanzania by way of CSO representation at the event.

 

 

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