The people affected by the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline-EACOP project will have to wait a little longer for their compensation, Seth Muhumuza, the Head of Stakeholder Management-Petroleum Authority of Uganda-PAU has revealed.
Compensation of the Project Affected Persons-PAPs was expected to start early this month in vain.
Muhumuza says the compensation process was disrupted by the election period yet the Final Investment Decision (FID) had also delayed.
FID is the point at which the international oil companies (IOCs) and the Government of Uganda (GoU) through the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) will commit to oil field development.
Muhumuza says that they expected the FID around December 2020 so that the government can start the compensation in January 2021 but all this didn’t happen due to unavoidable circumstances.
He explains that they had finished issuing forms for all the assets that were assessed, adding that they had also expected to start assessment of entitlement in November and December.
Muhumuza regrets the delayed compensation and appeals to the PAPs to give them more time to organise their payment.
Robert Birimuye, one of the PAPs in Beteremu, says the more the government delays to compensate them the more the value of their properties appreciates, which may complicate the process further.
He wants the government to meet all the PAPs to iron out some concerns before the compensation process.
Yisito Kayinga, the Executive Director- Community Transformation Foundation Network (COTFONE), says the PAPs are accusing the CSOs of failing to intervene to push for their compensation.
According to Kayinga, the promise of compensating them was just a trick to calm them down during elections since it would affect some candidates.
He if PAU was serious about the compensation, the process would have started in December as promised.
Kayinga explains that the PAPs have for long wished to lease their land like it is the case with electricity projects but the proposal was ignored.