The refinery project displaced 73 households 47 of whom opted to have constructed for them while others opted to be compensated with actual land.
Families affected by the construction of the oil refinery in Buseruka Hoima are finally receiving houses constructed by government six years after they were asked to vacate their land. Energy and Mineral Development Minister, Engineer Irene Muloni was represented by her State Minister. Engineer Simon D'ujanga to commission and hand over 46 houses to affected persons.
The six years ago asked families to vacate the 29.57 square kilometres land in Kabaale where government plans to construct a 60,000 barrels of oil per day refinery.
Part of the land will be occupied by an international airport, Petrochemical Industries together with crude oil storage facilities.
More than 97% of the Project Affected Persons opted for cash compensation and 73 opted for physical relocation.
Forty six houses have been constructed for those that opted to have houses constructed for them. The newly constructed houses are located in Kyakaboga in Buseruka Subcounty Hoima districts.
Robert Kasande, the Acting Director For Petroleum said each is to receive a house and farm land with land titles in their names.
He says those that opted for resettlement but did not have houses on their land in the refinery area will receive replacement farm land with land titles in their names together with residential plots.
The planed handover of the houses to the Project Affected Persons almost brings an end to a standoff between government and the households that have for six years been pushing government to fulfill its promises as per the resettlement action plan.
African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) on Monday said the Refinery affected persons had vowed not to take the houses until when government had fulfilled all its promises.
The government had reportedly promised to hand over the houses with land titles but AFIEGO said this has not been fulfilled as the Minister commissions the resettlement. The houses have reportedly not been connected with electricity and piped water.
Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr. Stephen Robert Isabalija denies that the project affected persons have refused to relocate to the new houses. Dr. Isabalija in a statement says a copy of the consolidated land title and plot numbers was given to the project affected persons during a recent meeting held this Tuesday.
The project affected persons are also demanding for livelihood programmes like seedlings and food for six months and skills development programmes, schools, health centres and water. Yusuf Masaba, a Communications Specialist at the Ministry in an interview with Uganda Radio Network says most of the demands have been addressed.
He says says those being relocated can still access health services from a Health Center 4 refurbished as part of the resettlement process.
Masaba says the area is less than 500 meters to the re-constructed Nyahaira Primary School and that a Survey for extension of electricity has been completed
African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) Executive Director, Dickens Kamugisha says not all the affected persons have agreed to relocate.
He says some have decided to relocate to Kyakaboga village because they have waited for long to resume normal lives after government asked them to pave way for the refinery.
African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) has been at the forefront of advocating for the resettlement of the 73 households.
The resettlement of the project affected persons comes few days after government secured another investor to develop for the $4 billion refinery.
The Energy Ministry on Monday said it had agreed preliminary terms with a consortium of investors, including General Electric to build and operate the country the oil refinery in the Albertine Graben.