Gov't commits to environment protection during oil and gas exploration

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Gov't commits to environment protection during oil and gas exploration
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The minister of energy Ruth Nankabirwa has said  government is committed to ensure that the oil and gas sector is exploited without breaching environment guidelines.

"We have got a lot of accusations from Western world and civil society, so we did a lot of bench marks, and we have the best scientists guiding the sector, I believe Uganda is one of the Countries doing well when it comes to exploitation of natural resources but also conserving environment," Nankabirwa noted.

Nankabirwa who was representing  Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja  at the Oil and gas world environmental day in Mpasana town council Kakumiro district, implored people of Uganda to embrace the oil activities saying, it is the only sector that will enable government raise funds to facilitate rural electrification but also have tariffs go down.

"When it's us investing in the power energy, no doubt we will have power cost go down, unlike when the connection, transmission and everything is a lone from outside. We  have evaluated the oil and gas sector and it has capacity to enable us do that.  Ugandans, support the sector and whoever tries to divert you, don't listen to them."

"When you call it Bunyoro oil, how about me from Kiboga? Before oil, there were other regions with minerals that facilitated development in Bunyoro. So, let's embrace it  as Ugandan oil so that we defend it all together, you know we have a lot of people trying to fail us," Nankabirwa added.

Ernest Rubondo, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda executive director said, as a regulator they are making sure all oil companies comply  with all the requirements in regards to oil exploration .

"Our role as PAU is to regulate, so we ensure all companies comply to the set guidelines especially with activities like respect of natural resources, tree planting within communities, with focus not only at planting but also maintaining them grow to mitigate climate change," he assured

Oil drilling companies have however expressed concern over absentee landlords that continue to stall compensation at 95%, forcing Nankabirwa to issue a 14-day ultimatum.

"It's provided for in the law that  when the land lords are not found. It was put in the gazette for 14 days, and once the land lords don't turn up, I have guided that their money that will have been evaluated by the government valuer be deposited in court, because all we want is to enable the activities move as planned," Nankabirwa warned.

The event held in Kakumiro, one of the district where the East Africa Crude oil pipeline passes, was attended by all oil companies like CNOOC, TOTAL, EACOP, government oil agencies, district leaders from the oil exploration district, civil society and local communities.

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