The Ministry of Energy and Mineral development working together with that of Lands has handed over  127 land titles to individual Project Affected Persons (PAP) and institutions affected by the on-going oil project in Hoima district. Among the institutions given titles included two churches.

State Minister for Minerals Peter Lokeris represented his senior Minister Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa at the handover ceremony held at Kyakaboga resettlement village, Buseruka sub-county in Hoima district-Thursday.

Minister Lokeris said that the handover of titles to the affected persons was a recognition, by government, of  their contribution to the development of oil and gas sector in the country by way of surrendering their  land to the refinery project and shifting to the new location in Kyakaboga.

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Uganda, I wish to commend you, the Project Affected Persons (PAPs), for your patience and cooperation with my Ministry and your leaders throughout this RAP implementation process. This is confirmation that you are a significant partner in this Country’s development,” Lokeris stated amid jubilation by the affected persons.

Lokeris said that government’s priority  remains to ensure that as the oil and gas sector progresses, the Bunyoro region, and the entire country develops along with it. “Government has continued to support secure land tenure rights for all as an essential key to poverty reduction and creation of sustainable development. Secure land tenure provides a firm foundation for economic development, ecological sustainability and social inclusion. Secure land tenure rights enable people in rural and urban areas to invest in their livelihoods and homes,” he stressed.

The Minister said that government will also continue to investment in public service infrastructure in the areas of health, education, transport, electricity and security, among others. “These social service infrastructures will ensure that our people are economically healthy to be more productive and contribute more significantly to the growth of our nation.”

Hoima district is  an epicenter of development, with great potential to fast lead the industrialization of Uganda and reap the associated benefits. Minister Lokeris noted that the handover of the land titles to the beneficiaries  marked  yet another key milestone in the implementation of the Refinery Resettlement Action Plan.

Lands minister Hon. Judith Nabakooba in a speech read for her was particular happy about the patience exhibited by the PAPs who have waited since 2012 to receive their titles .

“I would like also to commend the Project Affected Persons who opted for the resettlement program for the instituted patience in walking the journey together since 2012. “

Nabakooba said that the Ministry of Lands acquired 533 acres of land in Kyakaboga village in Buseruka Sub County, Hoima district for the relocation of the PAPs who opted for resettlement. “In accordance with Vision 2040 and the Physical Planning Act, 2010 which declares the entire country a planning area, my Ministry in consultation with Hoima District, Buseruka Sub County and the PAPs prepared a physical development plan for the area and the plan approved by Buseruka Sub County and Hoima district,” she stated .

Back ground

The Permanent Secretary at the Energy Ministry  Eng. Irene Batebe gave a background about the resettlement program noting that government of Uganda acquired 29.7 sq. kms of land for development of the Hoima Oil Refinery and other petrochemical industries as well as an International Airport.

The land acquisition affected over 7100 persons, about 2700 property owners, within thirteen villages. These persons, referred to as Project Affected Persons (PAPs), were offered alternative compensation packages; Cash Compensation and In-kind compensation.

“The PAPs who preferred cash were paid, relocated themselves and settled in new locations within the Albertine graben. About 72 PAPs who preferred in-kind compensation were relocated by government to this resettlement village where 533 acres of land was procured for their resettlement,” Eng.  Batebe explained.

In the  resettlement Kyakaboga village, on the 533 acres, government has since  up a number of social infrastructures comprising a Primary School with 7 classroom blocks planned for about 900 pupils, a Police Post to ensure law and order in the Buseruka region, a Community Centre for organized social gatherings, and Market Stalls for business developments.

A 19-km link road has also been  constructed to provide access and motorability within the village and link it to the wider Hoima district roads. “These social infrastructures were technically planned by the Ministry of lands, Housing and Urban Development Physical Planning experts, in consultation with the relevant District Authorities, and the PAPs,” Eng. Batebe added.  

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