The Government has spent sh30b to compensate people who will be displaced by the construction of an oil refinery in Kabaale parish, Buseruka sub-county in Hoima district.
By Robert Atuhairwe & Benedict Okethwengu
HOIMA - The Government has spent sh30b to compensate people who will be displaced by the construction of an oil refinery in Kabaale parish, Buseruka sub-county in Hoima district.
Gloria Sebikari, a communications officer in the energy ministry, said that the money has gone to 70% of those entitled to compensation.
She said the process to ensure the remaining beneficiaries are paid is being worked on expeditiously as the Government moves to secure the 29,000 hectares, where the country’s first crude oil refinery will be built.
According to the resettlement action plan report, about 7,118 persons would be evicted from 13 villages.
Ninety-eight percent (98%) of the residents preferred to be compensated, while 2% chose resettlement.
For the 2% which translates to 93 households who preferred relocation, she added, the Government has secured 530 acres of land at sh2.5b and would build them houses and other social amenities such as hospitals and schools.
She said they will be relocated to Kyakaboga village in Buseruka sub-county.
“We expect to conclude the compensation exercise by the end of this year and embark on relocation early next year,” she added.
The Government last year announced sh70b for the compensation exercise, which kicked off in December last year. State minister for energy Simon D’Ujunga said they have started paying people who preferred cash in accordance with the socio-economic survey conducted in July 2012.
D’Ujung said then the exercise would be conducted in phases, through the right procedures and called for patience.
However, Sebikari said the sh70b does not only cater for those who preferred to be compensated by cash, but also for relocation and other costs.
The refinery, whose construction is at procurement phase, will be commissioned in 2018 and will enable value-addition to Uganda’s crude oil, while creating employment for Ugandans.
Part of the land will be used to set up infrastructure, including an airport, petrochemical industries, waste management plants and houses for the refinery workers.
Uganda has commercial deposits of oil and gas, which are currently estimated at 6.5 billion barrels, upgraded in August this year from 3.5 billion barrels. Of these, 1.4 billion barrels are recoverable in the Albertine Graben.
Sylvia Sayuni, 47, a widow and a resident of Nyahaira village who received sh123m in February for her 32 acres of land, told New Vision that she bought a piece of land in Karongo in Hoima municipality.
She said she has built a three-bedroom house and she does agriculture on the rest of the land.
“All of my children are in good schools and my life has changed for the better.”
Refinery land: Sh30b compensation paid