How Govt finally resettled last affected person in Tilenga Oil Project after court battle

Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) officials engaging with PAPs

Hoima, (UG):- After a series of court battles, the Tilenga Oil Project, operated by TotalEnergies in Partnership with China National Oil Offshore Company (CNOOC) and Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), has successfully relocated the final Project Affected Person (PAP), under the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) 2.

The relocation, which occurred on 13th May 2024, follows a comprehensive engagement process and legal proceedings.

On December 4, 2023, the government filed an application in the High Court of Uganda at Hoima against Kisembo Rugadya and 41 others, seeking vacant possession of land parcels and permission to deposit assessed compensation sums in Court. The Court granted these orders on December 8, 2023, including an eviction order against any respondent refusing to vacate (the other 41 PAPs had already left).

The final PAP was served with a notice to vacate but declined. After a 30-day notice period, the government filed for an eviction order on March 28, 2024. Despite attempts to serve the PAP and their lawyer, the PAP refused service. On April 24, 2024, the Court heard the applications and granted an eviction order for the 0.791-acre land.

The PAP remained a thorn in the flesh of the Tilenga Project even though they had received compensation exceeding the value of their assets on land in Kirama village, including structures, crops and trees.

They were also provided with a 30% disturbance allowance, a 30% uplift, and a modern replacement house equipped with solar power and rainwater collection systems.

According to Ms. Gloria Sebikari, the Manager Corporate Affairs at the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), “This extensive compensation package, exceeding local and international
standards demonstrate the project’s commitment to fair and transparent land acquisition practices.”

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She said the Tilenga Project prioritizes minimizing disruption to affected communities and ensuring that all PAPs are adequately compensated for their losses and inconveniences.

“The resettlement of the final PAP underscores the Tilenga Project’s dedication to responsible resource development, environmental stewardship, and positive social impact. The project remains committed to engaging with local communities, ensuring their concerns are heard and addressed throughout development,” Ms Sebikari added.

Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) officials engaging with PAPs

The Tilenga Project is a significant oil and gas development in Uganda, poised to unlock significant energy potential and contribute to the country’s economic growth. The project involves the construction of infrastructure for oil extraction, processing, and transportation.

Land acquisition for the Tilenga Project commenced in 2017 and several engagements have been held with close to 5,900 PAPs to enable land access for the oil and gas activities.

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Until today, 99% of the PAPs for the project had been compensated and/or relocated, while adhering to local and international standards regarding land acquisition and voluntary resettlement.

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