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‘Buliisa Residents Won’t Be Relocated Over Oil Activities’

Following a recent fear by Buliisa district residents that they will be relocated to a another place once oil and gas activities begin, the District L.C 5 Chairman Simon Kinene has assured the residents that there is no such arrangements by government.

He adds that communities have been engaged with Joint Venture partners and Resettlement planning committee to get their views on Tilenga Oil and Gas Project and a relocation arrangement has not come up.

“In early January 2019, the Presidential Advisor on Oil and Gas Dr Kalisa Kabagambe chaired a meeting that involved both residents of Nywoya and Buliisa who are going to be  affected by Tilenga project in Bulisa. Where was that issue of relocating people raised?” Kiniene asked.

In a statement issued by Western Media for Environment and Conservation –WEMECO, the Executive Director WEMECO, Peter Akugizibwe Araali, says that when they were approached by the residents of Ngwedo Sub County about their fears, they engaged with the District Community Development Officer, Bernard Barugahare, who said all stakeholders are involved in the process of oil and gas activities and there was no need for alarm.

He pledged to carryout investigations in the matter and revert with facts.

Rajab Yusuf Bwengye, The Senior Project Officer in charge oil governance and projects with National Association Of Professional Environmentalist [NAPE] however says that if government comes up with such a decision, it will save the community, adding that oil and gas activities will affect the communities, citing land with parks, game reserves and water bodies.

“With the current development of constructing central processing facility, feeder oil pipes, park yards among others, all these are going to leave the communities squeezed without any alternative for their livelihood and this can force them to go into illegal activities such as poaching in Murchison national park and Bugungu wildlife reserve,” he said.

Bwengye pointed out that Buliisa being a fishing community, oil companies are also targeting the lake water to use during oil and gas activities and this, he says will not only derive the communities from fishing but also anticipated water pollution in case of oil spills.

“When we talk about environment, we don’t mean only plants; we talk about plants, aquatic life and the rest; all these will go,’’ he said.

By Drake Nyamugabwa

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