EACOP Fulfills Commitment to Communities with First Batch of Replacement Homes Handover

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The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Ltd has handed over the first batch of replacement houses to Project Affected Persons (PAPs) along its route in the districts of Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Sembabule, Rakai, Kyotera, and Lwengo.

The handover ceremony of the fully completed housing units took place on Friday at Nkoma B Village, Lwengo District and was witnessed by the Minster for Energy and Mineral Development Ms Ruth Nankabirwa.

The Minister, who presided over the handover ceremony, stated that the company is deserving of commendation for upholding its promises to the communities.

She said, "Commendation is due to the company for upholding its promises to the impacted communities."

In accordance with the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards 5 (IFC PS5), a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) was developed and approved by the Ministry of Energy. The RAP outlines the eligibility criteria and designs for replacement housing and is available on the EACOP website. Of the 2,648 PAPs in Uganda, 203 were physically displaced and 178 chose replacement housing as compensation instead of monetary compensation. IFC PS5 encourages companies to minimize the impact of displacement by providing fair compensation and improving living conditions. EACOP has publicly committed to implementing such initiatives and this recent handover is evidence of that commitment.

Eligible PAPs, with a focus on the vulnerable, are being provided with transitional support such as food baskets, relocation support to transport their belongings, and livelihood restoration programs aimed at improving their income-earning capacity, production levels, and standards of living.

"I am overflowing with gratitude and joy at receiving my new home. I extend my heartfelt thanks to EACOP for fulfilling their commitment," said Rosemary Namata, one of the Project Affected Persons (PAP) who received a relocation home.

The construction of the 178 replacement houses was executed entirely by Ugandan companies including Technical Masters Ltd, Egis Engineering Contractors, Excel Construction, and Epsilon. The company also contracted two supervision contractors, KATT Consult Ltd and Bureau Veritas Uganda Ltd, for quality assurance and control.

EACOP is committed to engaging with the affected communities to ensure that their feedback is considered throughout the resettlement process. This recent handover of replacement houses is just one aspect of the company's broader efforts to undertake the EACOP project in a responsible and sustainable manner while adhering to the laws and regulations of Uganda, the Equator Principles IV, and IFC PS5.

"The resettlement housing construction is a testament to our 100% National Content commitment and our steadfast dedication to these principles," declared Martin Tiffen, Managing Director of EACOP Ltd. When asked to guess what the anti-EACOP activists will have to say about the handover ceremony, Tiffen said, "I wish everyone who has any interest in the EACOP Project could be here today to witness this momentous occasion."

The handover of the first batch of replacement houses is a tangible example of several years of concerted efforts.

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