China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda Limited, a firm operating Kingfisher oil development area in Kyangwali sub-county, Kikuube district has handed over 56 newly constructed housing units for project affected persons-PAPs.
The PAPs are those whose households were affected during land acquisition that was required for the project development ahead of the construction schedule for project infrastructures such as a central processing facility (CPF), drilling camp, well pads, infield flow lines, spoil areas, access roads, safety buffers around project facilities and the feeder pipeline.
The visibly elated PAPs received the houses on July 14. The project has implemented four Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs) including; legacy RAP for 61 PAPs who were affected by the Kingfisher access-escarpment road, RAPI for 31 PAPs for the CPF, well pads, RAPII for 680 PAPs for the feeder pipeline, infield lines, access roads.
The handed over resettlement houses are part of RAP II, according to a statement from the oil firm.
The statement adds that the RAP report designed by the ministry of energy and mineral development, recommended that they (CNOOC) provide in-kind compensation to households that were primary residences through construction of the aforesaid housing units.
The units whose construction started in 2021 and ended this year, were constructed by Excel Construction limited and supervised by MBW Consults limited at yet to be disclosed cost.
They comprise 3 bedrooms, living room, an outdoor kitchen, ventilated improved pit-latrine, rain harvesting equipment and solar power for lighting.
Some of the houses are spread across the sub-counties of Kyangwali, Kabwoya and Buseruka, respectively.
The oil firm which got a production license in September, 2013, has also carried out livelihood restoration programmes to skill the PAPs to improve their earnings potential.
These include vocational skills of children from households in welding, motorcycle and motor vehicle basic mechanics, building construction, tailoring and hair dressing, among others.
Robinson Oketcha, one of the PAPs said they were given options of compensation for all their property that was affected.
“Those whose houses were affected, were given options of cash compensation or getting replacement houses and I chose a replacement house,” she added.
Ma Peixin, Vice President CNOOC Uganda Limited said this was a testament to the commitment they have to fulfill to ensure continued cooperation and create a win-win relationship with the community and help better their lives than they found them before oil activities.
Peter Lokeris the state minister implored oil firms to plant trees in their areas of operation to mitigate the negative impacts on the environment.
The call comes at a time Bunyoro needs trees to absorb the expected greenhouse gases emanating from oil production facilities.
Lokeris also urged leaders in the oil-rich Albertine Graben to ensure proper physical planning of the mushrooming urban centres to ensure orderly development.