AFIEGO’s October 2019 newsletter

The newsletter highlights what transpired during the public hearings on the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.

The public hearings were organised by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) in consultation with NEMA. They took place on October 21, 23 and 25, 2019 in three of the ten EACOP-affected districts of Kakumiro, Mubende and Rakai.

Through the newsletter, we show that stakeholders that participated in the public hearings highlighted many grave gaps and weaknesses in the EACOP ESIA report. Stakeholders called on NEMA not to approve the EACOP ESIA.

Further, the public hearings showed that NEMA is failing communities by failing to demand that developers include Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) reports and mitigation plans in ESIA reports.

The number of land acquisition-related grievances that were raised were overwhelming. Yet the EACOP ESIA lacked a RAP to enable stakeholders comment on it and improve its adequacy.

Further, stakeholders said that without mitigation plans in the ESIA report, they are left without an understanding of whether it is really possible to avoid or mitigate the impacts identified in the EACOP ESIA report. District leaders also noted that this compromises their ability to monitor implementation of mitigation plans for compliance.

The newsletter contains the following:
EACOP project should not be allowed to move ahead without addressing people’s concerns
Pictorial which captures comments made by stakeholders at the EACOP ESIA public hearings
Lobbying
In the media
Upcoming eventsAFIEGO’s October 2019 newsletter

AFIEGO’s September 2019 newsletter

Kindly read more in the newsletter which has the following content:

Government failure to collect taxes from oil companies will worsen oil dangers and deprive Ugandans
Pictorial of our activities
Lobbying
In the media
Upcoming eventsAFIEGO’s September 2019 newsletter (2)

Uganda and DRC CSOs communique on failures in EACOP ESIA public hearings 25-10-2019

This week, the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) in consultation with NEMA organised three public hearings on the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project.

The public hearings were organised in the districts of Kakumiro, Mubende and Rakai. AFIEGO and 15 CSO partners from Uganda and the DRC participated in the public hearings.

Following our participation, we issued a communique through which we show that PAU violated national environmental laws and failed to respect regional accords aimed at ensuring the harmonious exploitation of resources in the Great Lakes region.

We also show that communities had to cover long distances and incur high costs to participate in the public hearings as only three hearings were organised. This is despite the fact the EACOP will affect ten districts in Uganda.

Failure to organise public hearings in all the ten affected districts undermined effective public participation in the public hearings. This could have far-reaching implications.

In addition, the presiding officer gave communities, some of whom had moved long distances to participate in the public hearings, only one minute to comment on the big EACOP ESIA report. This was especially seen in Kakumiro and it was unfair. It also went against the rules of natural justice.

Through the attached communique, we are calling on NEMA to direct PAU to organise public hearings in all the ten-EACOP affected districts.

We also make other recommendations to enable effective public participation in the public hearings. This will NEMA make the right decision on the EACOP project to promote environmental conservation and community livelihoodsUganda and DRC CSOs communique on failures in EACOP ESIA public hearings 25-10-2019

EACP ESIA gaps on wetlands

EACP ESIA gaps on wetlandsEACP ESIA gaps on wetlands

AFIEGO’s September 2019 newsletter (2)

Through the newsletter, we show that should the Ugandan government fail to collect the assessed capital gains tax of $167 million (over UGX 612 billion) from Tullow Oil, environmental conservation and community livelihood efforts stand to suffer.

Kindly read more in the newsletter which has the following content:

Government failure to collect taxes from oil companies will worsen oil dangers and deprive Ugandans
Pictorial of our activities
Lobbying
In the media
Upcoming eventsAFIEGOs September 2019 newsletter (2)

Update on hearing of Tilenga case today 01-10-2019

We would like to notify you that the case in which youth and CSOs want the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate of approval for the Tilenga oil project to be cancelled is going to be heard today in the Kampala High Court today (October 1, 2019).

Kindly refer to the attached update for moreUpdate on hearing of Tilenga case today 01-10-2019

Letter of objection to ERA to stop plans to renew Jacobsens licence 06-09-2019

The objection is made following publication of a notice by ERA in the New Vision of August 26, 2019. In the notice, ERA invited the public to submit comments on an application by Jacobsen thermal power plant Ltd for renewal of its licence.

AFIEGO avers that Uganda currently produces surplus expensive power which citizens have failed to consume. At $25.8 cents per unit, the thermal power produced in Uganda is also too expensive.

Uganda should therefore not be producing thermal power and Jacobsen’s license should not be renewed.

We call on ERA and government to prioritise investment in offgrid solar, wind and other energy options to diversify the energy mix to enable security of supply.

The excuse that thermal power is needed for security of supply does not hold when investments in clean offgrid options can be made.

Kindly refer to the letter for more.Letter of objection to ERA to stop plans to renew Jacobsens licence 06-09-2019

CSO statement on suspension of EACOP activities 05-09-2019

Through the statement, the CSOs are calling on government not to bow to pressure by the oil companies. The CSOs insist that government must demand that Tullow Oil pays the taxes due to government.

While the CSOs support government to collect tax, they note that government’s violation of environment and other laws, abuse of oil revenues and failure to use oil money to benefit citizens has denied government social capital that it would rely on to demand for tax from oil companies.

It has also perhaps emboldened oil companies to drag government through one expensive tax dispute after another. The CSOs make recommendations for action by government.

Kindly refer to the attached CSO statement and press release for more CSO statement on suspension of EACOP activities 05-09-2019

AFIEGOs August 2019 newsletter

The newsletter has the following content:
EACOP ESIA report: Implications of weaknesses and gaps
Pictorial of our activities
Lobbying
In the media
Upcoming eventsAFIEGOs August 2019 newsletter

CSO open letter to Minister of Finance to address challenges to EITI

Through the attached open letter, we highlight challenges that will deter compliance to EITI in Uganda and make recommendations for addressing of these challenges.

Some of the challenges include:
• Lack of a culture that promotes rule of law, respect of institutions and others. Such a culture cannot allow transparency and accountability to thrive.
• Government failure to penalise officers who refuse to implement laws that promote transparency and accountability such as the Constitution, Public Finance Management Act and others.
• A weak parliament and citizenry that cannot hold the executive that abuses oil revenues accountable.
• The existence of laws such as the 1998 Environment Impact Assessment Regulations that undermine transparency and others.
CSO open letter to Minister of Finance to address challenges to EITI