FBOs protest environmental degradation around the oil refinery land in Hoima

Religious groups under Greenfaith organisation participate in a climate walk in Kabaale Sub-county, Hoima District.

Members from different Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) in the communities around the oil refinery land in Kabaale Sub-county, Hoima District have held a procession demanding a sound action for climate justice in the Albertine region.

Their climate walk from Kabaale Church of Uganda (COU) to Kabaale – Kiziramfumbi Road came at the climax of their engagement organised by Greenfaith.

Greenfaith is an international organisation that works to promote environmental conservation through FBOs.

The members had digested numerous issues that are threatening the natural environment including the oil induced developments on one side and environmentally dangerous agricultural practices by community members on the other.

The church is about 250 metres from the oil refinery land on the south west boundary.

Condemning abuse of herbicides, encroachment on wetlands, irresponsible disposal of plastics and the need for a total ban on plastic bags are some of the issues raised.

They also appealed to the government to provide free seedlings to the community members for planting in order to mitigate the effects of the major oil projects like the will be most adjacent oil refinery, Tilenga and Kingfisher projects under development in the neighbouring Hoima, Buliisa and Nwoya and Kikuube districts respectively and the controversial East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

Mr Emmanuel Okwor, a member of the End Time Message Church, said the walk was important to capture attention of all Ugandans to fight climate change and its effects.

Religious groups dialogue in Kabaale Church of Uganda in Kabaale Sub-county, Hoima District.

Pastor Dorothy Olimi of Kabaale Fellowship Church said as a religious leader she welcomes efforts to stop environmental degradation as well as reforestation.

Mr Edwin Mumbere, the activity ring leader from Greenfaith, said if possible, fossil fuel production could completely stop and instead invest heavily in renewable energy in Uganda.

He called upon the public to embrace tree planting to sequence carbon from the atmosphere and save their agricultural production highly threatened by unpredictable weather.

Mr Mumbere added that Greenfaith is determined to continue mobilising and supporting religious groups to fight for climate change and resist any projects that endanger climate justice.

Audio: Greenfaith members on environmental conservation (English)

Their activity comes in a wave of protests for and against the European Union (EU) parliament resolution to delay Uganda’s oil developments over claims of human rights violations and environmental threats posed by the EACOP project.

Kampala police yesterday also arrested students who were matching to petition the EU in support of its parliament’s stand to delay the project.

Last Thursday, Hoima city saw a demonstration of more than 200 students under the UgandaNational Students Association (UNSA) taking their petition to Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister raising their voice against the EU resolution on EACOP.

Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom had already made a statement in favour of oil projects siding with the central government that the EU claims were baseless.

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