Corporate Affairs Director at the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), Ronald Kasule, has reassured Ugandans that the project will be conducted in a way that respects all human rights as well as environmental and social factors.
“ The pipeline route was selected over several years after comprehensive feasibility studies directed at avoiding environmentally and socially sensitive areas, protected areas and areas of high population density. We can assure all Ugandans and the global community that all our activities are and will be done in a manner that respects and protects the environment as well as all the other human rights,” he said.
Mr Kasule noted that just like any other project, EACOP has experienced grievances, however, those are being handled through a grievances settlement system that has been put in place.
‘We have in place an effective grievance settlement system that has been appreciated by communities in the project-affected areas. We have so far settled more than 700 grievances. We will make sure that during the project implementation phase, we protect and uplift human rights, and that included all our contractors as well,” he added.
Mr Kasule was speaking at an engagement forum organized by The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Petroleum Authority of Uganda, and Uganda National Oil Commission in partnership with the oil and gas development partners for public and private public relations officer under their umbrella, Government Communicators Forum Uganda and Public relations Forum Uganda (PRAU) respectively.
The engagement was intended to sensitise and update the communicator on the progress of the Oil and Gas projects
Penninah Aheebwa, the Director of Technical Support Service at Petroleum Authority Uganda (PAU) said all activities concerning Uganda’s oil and gas sector are progressing well and have not been affected by the pressure from the EU resolution.
“Uganda is privileged to have oil and gas projects. The privileges are both direct and indirect. These include employment opportunities, the market for goods and services as well as infrastructure development. The benefits that will accrue from the oil and gas sector even before actual production are immense. I urge Ugandans to defend and support these projects because they are meant to benefit all of us,” she said.
Ofwono Opondo, the Uganda Government Spokesperson urged all communicators to speak for these projects by easing the information and packaging it in a way that can easily be understood by a common person.
Last month, a Ugandan delegation to the Maputo meeting led by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, also convinced The African, Caribbean, Pacific – European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which includes members of the European Union Parliament to allow for a “just transition to renewable energy” as opposed to the abrupt halting of explorations, especially by the global south.