Local leaders in Uganda’s Oil-rich region urged government to regulate land acquisition and oil waste disposal in the Albertine graben to prevent exploitation, local media reported.
The call was echoed during a community dialogue organised by Midwestern Regional Anti-Corruption Coalition.
The Prime Minister of Bunyoro Kingdom, a cultural institution which also shares part of the Albertine basin Norman Lukumu said when oil was discovered in the kingdom, people expected better welfare.
“But that welfare has not been forthcoming. People have a lot of pessimism. People claim that they were paid peanuts for their land, which was taken for oil-related development projects,” Lukumu said.
In demanding accountability, Lukumu said, there are people who formerly owned oil-rich land, but now have no land neither the money they received from compensation. He asked government to increase public participation in oil developments.
The Executive Director of Bunyoro Choice Uganda, a kingdom welfare pressure group Phinehas Kyotasobora said during 100 community dialogue sessions, communities in the Albertine graben suspected that oil was being siphoned off and taken to unidentified locations.
“They questioned what police-guarded and covered oil tankers that were taken from the Albertine graben. The tankers are marked as carrying hazardous wastes. Locals are wondering what trucks take, and demanded to know whether the products are got from oil,” Kyotasobora said.
He added that communities want oil-rich land leased to government so that the owners repossess it after the expiry of the land leases.
The Masindi Woman MP, Jalia Bintu, asked government to make laws that will regulate movement of oil wastes and petroleum-related products to mitigate possible negative impacts on the environment.
Source: Daily Monitor