Ngetha Media Association for Peace held radio Talk shows to educate the communities in Albertine graben on the challenges and impacts that oil discovery and drilling has and will continue to cause to the surrounding communities and also proposing ways on how they can be mitigated. The talk shows were part of Ngetha Media Association for Peace and Land is Life project “campaign in critical areas experiencing gross human rights and environmental degradation in Albertine region of Uganda”.
Moderated by Yonna Okello Pacu Pacu, the one hour talk show included Oyergiu Joshua , Jamillah Komugisha and Agenonga Robert. The aim of the talk show was basically to create awareness sessions on the challenges and impacts that oil discovery and drilling has and will continue to cause to the surrounding communities and also proposing ways on how they can be mitigated. It was further held to build the capacity of women and youth environmental defenders so that they are able to advocate for the protection of their land and Human rights at grassroots level.
The talk show attracted more than 40 audiences, both men and women from the different part of the Albertine graben who called in to contribute the views to the show. Audiences raised key concerns among others, the increasing land grabbing targeted at local people who don’t even have capacity and resources to challenge land grabbers in court of law. Majority of the audiences who called in from Buliisa and Hoima districts appealed to Ngetha Media Association for Peace and Lake Albert social Network to help them with legal aid .They said this will enable them bring cases against violators of their land and human rights .
Local people from the Oil rich district of Buliisa have recently petitioned the Government of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to take action aim at protecting their land and property rights. There are increased threats over land ownership ever since Oil and gas were found in the district.
Lake Albert Social Network, a local youth organization working with the Global Green Grants ( GGF) organized community dialogue and advocacy training around Transparency in Oil and land rights in the Sub county of Ngwedu in Buliisa district. Women and the youth cited out that there is high level of impunity and violation being committed onto them by high level government officials.
There are many people who are claiming large chunk of customary land in the various villages of Ngwedo Sub County. The youth and women said they need protection of their land before the situation escalates into bloodshed.
The people of Ngwedo have held land communally since time immemorial. But, the oil discovery in Ngwedo has attracted wealthy individuals who are processing communal land titles into private freehold titles.
Ngwedo village will host one of the two oil Central Processing facilities (CPF) and infield pipelines that will evacuate crude oil from various oil fields located in Murchison Falls National park and within the communities into the CPF. The feeder pipeline will also move from Ngwedo village in Bulisa district to Kabaale Parish in Hoima district where Government plans to set up a holding terminal for crude oil and an oil refinery among other infrastructure. Crude oil for export will be fed into an East African crude oil export pipeline which was launched in November, 2017 by President Museveni of Uganda and his Tanzanian counterpart President John Pombe Magufuli.