Press Release Article on land acquisition engagements
Working with communities to acquire land acquisition for oil and gas infrastructure
The transition of Uganda’s oil and gas sector from exploration and appraisal to the development phase means that Government and the Oil companies will put in place infrastructure to enable production of the discovered resources. This infrastructure includes well pads and flowlines, crude oil pipelines, central processing facilities, a refinery, base camps and access roads, among others. In order to set up this infrastructure, land needs to be acquired from the communities with their consent and the affected households compensated and/or relocated.
For some of these facilities, Government will acquire the land directly, while for others, the land will be acquired by the oil companies, on behalf of Government. Land may be acquired permanently, temporarily or to enable access and easement during operations and construction of facilities. Land acquisition is one of the activities monitored by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda to ensure that all interests of stakeholders are respected, more so the rights of the Project Affected Persons (PAPs).
In order to ensure a harmonised and coordinated land acquisition process, Government and the oil companies work closely with the affected communities, their leaders and other stakeholders in undertaking the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) studies to acquire land for the required facilities.
The RAP process is aimed at determining the affected persons and properties, and managing the loss of socio-economic activities and livelihoods as a result of displacement of Project Affected Persons (PAPs). It is a combination of several of activities that are undertaken in the presence of the affected households and a representative of the local leadership.
The process begins with the disclosure of the project to the above stakeholders including district, local, cultural, and religious leaders and the affected communities, among others. During disclosure the scope of the project is defined and key stages are explained. At this point, the project team interacts with stakeholders and answers any questions and concerns that are raised.
A Cadastral/Land Survey is then undertaken to determine the boundary of the affected land and the specific affected land owners is undertaken in the presence of neighbours and a local leader. After the land has been mapped, the asset survey team (valuers) record all property including structures, crops and plants on the affected land in the presence of the different land users.
Both the land survey and property assessment forms are endorsed by the respective land owners and users respectively, together with their spouses to ensure that the entire household is protected. The forms are also signed in presence of a translator and a copy is given to the affected person.
In addition, a socio-economic survey is undertaken to collect quantitative and qualitative data on affected households to inform compensation and resettlement programmes. This enables the project team to document and respond to any concerns the Project Affected Persons (PAPs) may have.
Livelihood restoration interviews with PAPs and other stakeholders are also part of the process and are aimed at developing adequate livelihood restoration packages for affected households. A Cultural Heritage and Archaeology survey to understand and document the physical and cultural resources in the project areas are also undertaken.
The above activities provide critical information that goes into the final RAP and Valuation Reports that are approved by the Government before disclosure and implementation of compensation and resettlement programmes.
During the duration of these activities, information is provided to the project affected communities in order to empower them to be able to cope with the displacement and include them in the decision making. Simplified information materials such as booklets, brochures, posters together with radio announcements and talk shows in the local languages are also distributed/ run throughout the processes.
The Petroleum Authority will work with the Ministries of Energy and Mineral Development, Lands, Housing and Urban Development, the oil companies and other stakeholders to ensure that the rights and interests of land owners, users and communities are respected. The communities and district leaders have been cooperative and continued supported this process. All stakeholders should undertake their roles responsibly and not cause unnecessary anxiety among communities by spreading non-factual and speculative information that may cause disruption.
The Petroleum Authority of Uganda is open to receiving views, comments and concerns to ensure a fair and successful land acquisition processes for oil and gas developments.
Director for Legal and Corporate Affairs
Petroleum Authority of Uganda