The construction of the oil pipeline from Uganda to Tanzania has reached yet another milestone with the acquisition of 47.22 acres (19.11 hectares) to that will house the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Ltd’s main camp and pipe yard in Kakumiro district.
EACOP Ltd on behalf of government completed the acquisition of the first of the four similar areas required for construction support for the development of the project in Uganda.
The land will be transferred to the Ugandan Land Commission and leased to EACOP as per the Host Government Agreement.
Speaking on Thursday, EACOP Managing Director, Martin Tiffen said prior to the acquisition, agreements were signed with 32 project affected persons after being fully compensated.
“The 32 project affected persons, together with their respective spouses have signed their compensation agreements, been fully compensated, received and served the required three months’ notice to vacate their land,” Tiffen said.
He also noted that project affected persons have been able to harvest their crops prior to the expiry of the notice to vacate’ and that under the eligible project affected persons are also entitled to transitional food support and access to livelihood restoration programs.
The EACOP Managing Director said the company is committed to completing the rest of the land acquisition program in full compliance with laws before physically accessing any land.
“The land acquisition process should be completed by mid 2023, as of today 81% of the project affected persons in Uganda having signed their compensation agreements and 69% having received their compensation payments “Tiffen said.
According to Tiffen, 3648 people are affected by the pipeline and as of today, 2940 have signed their compensation agreements, 2502 of which have been fully compensated.
Officials from EACOP also said that 203 have been physically displaced by the oil pipeline construction activities, 174 replacement houses are currently under construction and 39 have already been handed over to the affected persons.
The EACOP Managing Director applauded the Energy Ministry and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda for their “policy direction and continuous oversight” of the process.
The Prime Minister of Bunyoro kingdom, Andrew Byakutaga applauded EACOP Ltd for the “exemplary manner” in which the project affected persons were engaged, “in compliance with the laws”, regulations and “customs of Uganda”.
He also hailed the company for its “utmost respect for environment, local cultures and human rights”.
The 1,445km East African crude oil pipeline (EACOP) will be moving through 10 districts, 25 sub-counties and 172 villages via Gomba, from Hoima, Kikuube, Kyankwanzi, Kakumiro and Mubende districts, through Sembabule to Lwengo, Kyotera and Rakai in Uganda.
In Tanzania, the pipeline will pass through 25 districts in Kagera, Geita, Shinyanga, Tabora, Singida, Manyara, Dodoma and Tanga regions to Chongleani terminal near Tanga port on the Indian Ocean.