By Our Reporters
Total Energies EP Uganda working together with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development have commenced the process of hading over of new houses built for the local people who were affected by the oil fields which are being developed in the areas of Bulisa.
Some 105 resettlement houses and titles have since been handed over to the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) or people whose primary residence was impacted during the identification of land for the construction of the Tilenga Project facilities and associated infrastructure in Buliisa District.
The new housing units are part of 205 to be constructed for the PAPs and vary in size some built with two, three and four bedrooms – living room , veranda and outside kitchen. The houses are also fitted with a solar-powered system, rainwater harvest water tank (5,000 litres), and a VIP pit latrines.
Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon .Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu,presided over the hand over ceremony and stated that 12.7M USDs has so far been sspent to to compensate PAPs and balance of 3.9M USDs will be provided soon.
“under the project 235 replacement houses will be built in the three districts of Buliisa (193), Hoima (40) and Kikuube (2) for the project affected people .
At least 130 houses have been completed for PAPs across all Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs), with 30 houses for RAP1 and 100 houses covering Resettlement Action Plan (RAPs) 2-5.
All houses will be handed over with land titles. More than 65 sites are currently at various levels of construction progress within the three districts,” Nankabirwa stated .
The Minister added that the government made a promise to implement Uganda’s oil and gas projects while safeguarding the environment and transforming the lives of Ugandans.
The minister reiterated that Uganda is committed to exploit all its natural resources in a sustainable manner for social and economic transformation.
TotalEnergies EP Uganda has also been running a local scholarship program for the last 10 years that has benefitted over 270 students from the districts of Buliisa, Nwoya, Pakwach, Masindi and Nebbi.
The beneficiaries are supported to access O’level and A’level education with an emphasis on science subjects at top schools in the country.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held at a Kirama Village, Kigwera Sub-county in Buliisa district, Mr Philippe Groueix, General Manager- Total Energies EP Uganda said, “The handover we are witnessing today as well as the activities we are undertaking for livelihood restoration are enshrined in one of our sustainable development pillars focused on people’s well-being. Ultimately, we would like to contribute towards creating a positive impact and shared value with the people affected by the project and those living in the vicinity of our activities.”
The Tilenga project will have over 400 wells drilled on 31 well pads and a Central Processing Facility (CPF) with the capacity to process 190,000 barrels of oil per day. The Project will also include a 110km 24-inch feeder pipeline from the CPF to transport processed crude to a delivery point at Kabaale, Hoima District. The sizes of the feeder pipelines shall be large enough to allow tie-ins of production from future discoveries.
The structures are located on parcels of land chosen by the affected households and have been designed to last for at least 25 years before any major refurbishment is required. The completion and handover of the remaining 100 houses are planned for the end of August 2023.
All beneficiary households have been supported by Total Energies EP Uganda to acquire free-hold land titles and are supported during the relocation and acclimatization process to include participation in the various livelihood restoration programs. They also received transitional and psycho-social support. Specific emphasis is also placed on joint spousal participation throughout the entire process.
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