The China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) has scaled up its livelihood restoration activities for the Persons affected by oil projects in the Kingfisher Development Area (KDA).
The latest move has been the official handover of crop and animal husbandry farm inputs to 291 of 680 of the Kingfisher feeder pipeline Project Affected Persons (PAPs) this week at Kamwokya Village in Kyangwali Sub-county, Kikuube District.
Speaking to Kazi-njema News at the function, Mr Zakalia Lubega, the Head of Corporate Affairs at CNOOC Uganda Limited said the company had started with the PAPs in Kyangwali sub-county in the first phase as they move to Kabwoya and Buseruka sub-counties in Kikuube and Hoima districts respectively in the near future.
The inputs distributed through their partner Living Earth Uganda include 345 high breed pigs, nine boran bulls and 5,000 chicks alongside crop inputs.
‘We started these livelihood restoration activities back in 2019 under the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) 1 and this is RAP 2. We work to ensure that the people we have impacted are not negatively affected by the project but rather be facilitated to advance,” said Mr Lubega.
Mr Lubega added that all the persons affected by all their project components had been fully compensated in exception of 1% that mainly comprise persons that died or disappeared after assessment.
According to him, the last option will be depositing the money to court for them to access at any time they surface.
Mr Lawrence Ntaro, the Kamyokya Village Chairperson appreciated CNOOC for their cooperation with the local leaders and fulfilling their promise to restore the livelihoods of the PAPs.
He expressed optimism that the inputs given to the people will not only benefit the PAPs but also other members of the community.
“I am happy with CNOOC for what they have done. It will help our people to a daily source of income through sale of eggs for example by those that have taken layers”, he said.
Mr Sam Mugisa, the Corporate Affairs Coordinator at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) said the authority will continue playing its oversight role to ensure that the investors fulfill their obligations to mitigate the side effects of oil projects.
He also urged the beneficiaries of livelihood restoration projects to take the inputs as their own projects and maximise benefits.
‘I will be happy to return here and find that a group that had 100 chicks now has 5,000 instead of finding nothing. The multiplication of your project helps you to tap into the oil industry by selling to either the oil companies or people working around the oil projects”, he said.
Mr Mugisa also implored the communities in the Albertine region to spot and select from numerous opportunities coming along with the oil related infrastructure development including tarmac roads, the oil refinery, the central processing facilities and markets that will help them to benefit either directly or indirectly from the oil industry.
According to him, everybody should strategise to improve what he is doing already emphasising that people should support the pool industry since there are all signs that oil in Uganda is a blessing.
He tipped that a lot of agricultural produce will be needed as development phase picks up.
Mr Godfrey Kagwa Mugaati of Nsonga A village in Buhuka parish who hosted the highbred he-goats that will help to mate with local goats to have improved animals congratulated CNOOC and the government for responding to improve livelihoods.
Mr Fideli Kiiza, the leader of one of the piggery group in Buhumuliro village said they will use the skills attained during the financial literacy training to achieve more from the groups created during this project.
Mr Peter Banura, the Kikuube District Chairman, urged the communities to embrace government projects like Emyoga and the Parish Model because they assist them to benefit from the business opportunities in the oil industry and also alleviate poverty in the country.
He also called upon parents to educate their children because opportunities will be taken by those with the necessary skills.