MPs: Oil Bill Report Lacking

2156 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
He says the committee report is silent about the land rights of the indigenous Banyoro.

Members of parliament have faulted the report on the oil bills presented by the Natural Resources Committee saying it does not address critical issues such as compensation and the environment. They argue that since there have been rampant cases of land grabbing in areas where oil exploration is taking place there is need to address the concerns of the aggrieved locals before any compensation takes place.
Odongo Otto, the Aruu County Member of parliament argues that unless the issue of land grabbing is addressed, government may pay compensation to the wrong people. He claims that there are reports that people grabbed land or bought it cheaply from its original owners to benefit from the compensation scheme.
He also says the committee report is silent about the land rights of the indigenous Banyoro. Helen Kahunde, the Kiryandongo Woman MP confirms the MPs fears saying that the indigenous Banyoro are not beneficiaries of the compensation scheme since their land was hurriedly bought off by unknown people.
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She also says that the bill should have clearly spelt out the compensation rates. Kahunde says that the Banyoro are not happy with the money they have received in compensation because it is not proportionate to the land they have lost.
The MPs’ other worry is the environment. They say that the bill doesn’t provide for the sufficient protection of the environment especially as far as oil waste is concerned.
Nwooya county MP Richard Twodong accused the committee of not taking people’s concerns about oil waste seriously saying that bill should not be passed with such loopholes.

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The MPs were discussing the natural resources committee report on the petroleum exploration, production and development bill before it is passed.  Debate on the oil bill report continues today.