Oil and gas company, CNOOC Uganda Limited has hailed its livelihood program targeting displaced people for changing lives in the Albertine region.
Under the program, the Chinese company aims at restoring agricultural livelihood, re-establish or exceed pre-project levels of crop and livestock production and productivity.
Through the program, farmers affected by oil exploration are enabled to have access to alternative farming land and better farming systems so as to improve their way of life.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of 3,000 chicks to six farmers in Kikuube district, Peter Banura, LCV Chairman Kikuube district commended CNOOC for the project that is changing the lives of the people in the community.
“What we need to survive are practical skills and I am pleased to learn that the farmers have received the practical knowledge which will help them take care of their livestock, poultry and agricultural produce even after the project has ended,”Banura said.
According to the program, persons affected by oil exploration activities are equipped with information and practical knowledge to benefit them in maximising good quality yields from both their crops and livestock.
The program also sees farmers provided with agricultural training and extension services as well as inputs and veterinary services.
This program is not only aimed at restoring but also improve the livelihoods of the affected persons because they will soon start to earn a living from their livestock and poultry in form of beef and eggs respectively, as well as agricultural foods,” said Aminah Bukenya, the CNOOC Uganda Limited spokesperson.
According to Bukenya, a total of 680 people will benefit from the livelihood program which is to be implemented in Kabwoya, Kyangwali and Buseruka sub counties.
She added So far 291 of these have received inputs and livestock in Kyangwali which is the pilot sub county whereas 5000 chicks have been given to 10 groups, 18 goats to 18 farmers, nine boran bulls to nine farmers and 45 pigs to nine groups.
“The reception of the program in this district has been good and the farmers are adopting well. We are optimistic that they are going to use the knowledge they have acquired to teach other farmers who were not part of the program,” she noted.
This program according to officials will last between three and five year and CNOOC along with the district leadership will undertake monitoring to ensure sustainability.
CNOOC officials also noted that the program is a linkage to the ongoing government programs like Operation Wealth Creation, Women empowerment programs and Emyooga among others.