5 September 2012

Uganda: Oil Exploration - Govt Releases Bunyoro Map

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has released a draft map showing details of the population and properties of people who settled on the land earmarked for the construction of an oil refinery in Buseruka Sub-county in Hoima district.

Bashir Hangi, the refinery project's communications officer said the draft maps are on display for a week effective August 29.

He said the maps are on display at Hoima district headquarters in Kasingo Busiisi Division in Hoima town, Buseruka sub county offices, and in each of the 13 villages that are earmarked for the project.

He said the report names 13 villages of Kyapaloni, Nyamasoga, Bukona A, Bukona B, Kayeera, Nyahaira, Kitegegwa, Kigaaga B, Katooke, Kitemba, Kabaale A, Kabaale B and Nyakasinini, as the ones to be affected by the project.

He said the draft map has also confirmed that 8,000, people are to be evicted after compensation from the proposed land.

Hangi told New Vision on Wednesday that the draft copy was released on the ministry's orders to capture complaints of the affected people before the final one is released.

"We want to get people's complaints if there is any like spelling errors, and under or over valuation of properties on their lands to correct and include them in the final copy that will be released end this month to curb complaints during implementation," Hangi argued.

"We are also moving village-to- village to receive peoples' complaints this is all aimed at having a transparent process with full involvement of the project affected families," he said.

The Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) which was launched on May 17, by Peter Lokeris, state minister for mineral development at Kabaale Catholic Church, and ended late July was conducted by M/S Strategic Friends International limited a Ugandan firm.

Hangi said the socio economic survey chief aim is to establish land ownership, properties and loss of economic activities and livelihoods through compensation or resettlement from the refinery land of the local people.

Meanwhile, he added that, the demarcation of boundaries for the said land is complete with the size and configuration of the proposed land maintained at 29,000, hectares or 29 square kilometers.

The demarcation was carried out by experts from the department of surveying and mapping in the ministry of lands at Entebbe.

The government procured Foster Wheeler a United Kingdom firm to conduct a feasibility study whose report was released in September 2010 indicating that the multibillion project will encompass 29,000 hectares.

The refinery whose construction is said to begin late this year will come with attendant infrastructures like a modern airport, petrochemical industries, waste management plants and houses for the refinery workers.

The refinery will enable value addition to the crude oil, boost employment to the locals and give chance to service provision by local entrepreneurs.

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