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Over 400 equipped with skills to tap into the oil and gas sector

By Benedict Okethwengu

Added 10th March 2019 09:50 PM

Through the use of drama and role play, the participants were trained on socio-cultural factors and gender issues that prevent communities, especially women and children from benefiting from the oil and gas industry.

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Member of Kucwiny theatre group acting during the training on oil and gas at Akella trading center. Photo By Benedcit Okethwengu.

Through the use of drama and role play, the participants were trained on socio-cultural factors and gender issues that prevent communities, especially women and children from benefiting from the oil and gas industry.

OIL AND GAS

PAKWACH - Over 400 youth and women in Pakwach sub-county, in Pakwach district have been trained on how to tap the available opportunities that exist in on Oil and Gas Industry.

The one-day training organized by Action Aid Uganda, an International Organization was held at Akela trading center Friday.

Through the use of drama and role play, the participants were trained on socio-cultural factors and gender issues that prevent communities, especially women and children from benefiting from the oil and gas industry.

Uganda is currently described by the World Bank as one of the hottest inland exploration frontiers in the world and country to watch in the oil and Gas space.

It has commercial discovery estimated at 6.5billion barrels of oil equivalent to about 1.4billion barrels of recoverable resources.

But this discovery has created both positive and negative impacts on the oil reach area with women and young people suffering most from the brunt of negative impacts.

Flavia Nalubega, an employee of Action Aid Uganda says the Pakwach community needs to appreciate the opportunity offered by natural resources especially oil and gas.

“We want the community in Pakwach to appreciate the use and management of natural resources especially oil and gas. The land is being sold without consultation; children denied education due to wrongful evictions,” said Nalubega. 

Pakwach district is one of the areas in the Albertine Graben considered with high prospects of oil and gas deposit. 

In 2014, six exploration sites in the district which did not encounter traces of viable-hydro- carbon was restored.

The sites were under Total E&P Uganda Explorations Area-1 in West Nile. The dry wells were Odyek-1 and Riwu-1 were drilled after acquiring 2D seismic.

After the failed attempts, Total also suspended their plans to drill, Okuma- A well, which was in a similar area as Riwu-1.

Sebastian Javuru, the vice-chairperson of Pakwach sub-county said, they are yet to realize the pomp and hype that came with the discovery of oil in the area.

He added that those whose crops were destroyed by the exploration activities were also left with a broken heart after failing to get adequate compensation.

“They told us we would get jobs and lot of money in compensation, but I didn’t see it, maybe because we did not know what to do, but most importantly we even tell what is going on in the sector.” he said.

Sunday Onencan, the speaker of Pakwach sub-county said with such training, the community was long overdue, adding that oil discovery had created a lot of anxiety but the community lacks the idea on how to tap the opportunity that exists in the sector.

He also agitated for the involvement of local council chairpersons to avoid conflicts in the area with the prospect of Oil and gas.

Nam Eddy, the executive director of Nebbi district NGO forum advised the locals in the area to always task their leader to explain to them the operation of the oil and gas Company.   

Chris Ocowun, the Total public relations officer, said the company has always made good use of the local community to ensure that they benefit from oil activities.

He said they have been able to give a number of scholarships for students in their area of operation, adding that even during job recruitment, consideration is given to local people especially where the position can be filled by the people within the locality.


 

 

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