East African Crude Oil Pipeline – Communities left in the cold #AfricaClimateCrisis

East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project (EACOP) will transport the produced oil of Uganda Lake Albert from the oil fields to the port of Tanga Tanzania, the oil will then be sold to world markets. Although this can be considered an economic boon East Africa by some, climate activists are raising concerns about threats to community members’ livelihoods, vulnerable ecosystems, and a worsening climate emergency.

EACOP is now at the center of a global battle as community members and climate activists mobilize around the world to increase pressure on the banks and financial institutions that fund the project.

But how does the pipeline affect livelihoods?

In the film EACOP: A Crude Reality, 350.org presents the testimonies of directly affected communities. Total energies mega project. One member of the Ugandan community says they lost their family home after being refused relocation and forced to pay compensation.

Most of the activists in the documentary are not named.

“Tilenga has affected me and my family in many ways. In 2017 General E&P (exploration and production) Uganda came and bought a plot of land for the central processing plant of 772 hectares. So my house was there on the land they bought. So I had a residence with my family. The land was not for me, but for the family. The land was compensated. What affected my family was that when my wife and I went to explain, the money they offered was very little. So we preferred to transfer. I ended up losing my house because they refused to move me. They told me that I should receive cash compensation,” said a community member.

They were then arrested by the Ugandan authorities.

International Federation of Human Rights reported that a community member was detained by immigration officials upon arrival at Entebbe airport. Uganda. They were returning from them Pariswhere they testified December 12, 2019 In a case brought by two French non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – Survie and Friends of the Earth Franceas well as four Ugandan NGOs against a French oil company Total Energiesfor alleged human and environmental violations resulting from its operations Uganda.

“I went in 2019 France to testify in court about human rights violations. I was arrested in Entebbe on my way back. After I was released, when I was in prison, they warned me, we entered a certain room and told me not to go and testify again. If you do this again, you will lose your life,” said a community member.

About one third of the pipeline will be built on Lake Victoria it is the second largest freshwater body in the world and the source of income for more than 40 million people.

Hilda, an activist, said, “Many people depend on this lake. I depend on this lake because I grew up seeing it and it is already facing many impacts of climate change from activities such as sand mining, overfishing, pollution and wetland restoration.” he said.

“Studies already show that this lake will dry up in 100 years. If the EACOP project continues like this, then we won’t even have 100 years. That’s why we have to fight for this lake, because it’s our future. It’s the future of our children and future generations.” they said.

It was reported that in Uganda Only 178 villages were lost Tanzania 231 villages no longer exist due to EACOP.

“Most of our forests are in the Albertine Graben, where oil and gas reserves are concentrated. Uganda. And that’s why the forests are under a lot of pressure,” Dianadan said Uganda. He said Bugoma forest Albertine Graben became a victim of this land grab in 2016 when the occupation was formalized. The Ugandan government then issued land titles to the land grabbers. About 8,000 acres are being destroyed, but the community is still fighting to make sure it stops.

“We have seen the destruction of our ecology, the cutting of trees and the change of the weather. The affected people have tried to express all these effects using various mechanisms. Some have written many petitions, some have appealed to the court, some have appealed to the court. Regarding this issue with Total, some with the government. every time Total says “we’ll work on it,” Maxwell said.

When criticized about the EACOP project, Total Energies EACOP and its upstream Tilenga oil project Uganda is “low cost and low carbon”.

“Respecting others is a value at the heart of ethics Total Energies. Respecting others is respecting human rights, and this is a collective requirement for us through our operations around the world. We want to work with local people and our projects are designed to meet the needs of a country and contribute to the well-being of the people living there. I want to mention our projects Uganda and Tanzania It is regularly criticized by NGOs. These are major industrial projects for the two countries. The ad in it February 2022 launching this project is part of our exemplary commitment to sustainability. This is a low-carbon intensity oil project that creates value for countries and local communities and has a net gain in terms of biodiversity, which are our commitments,” said the company’s CEO. Total EnergiesPatrick Pouyanne.

Pouyanne said the villagers were offered a choice between house replacement and monetary compensation.

“We are aware of the stakes of this project, which is an onshore project. Of course, onshore projects are more difficult to implement in that sea, because we are crossing human territories, so there is a lot of work to be done, quality work. Of course, it concerns a lot of people. We are told that the vast majority are against this project, but in fact it is not so.

“The truth is that the vast majority of people are there Uganda They are in favor of this project and, as they say, they benefit from this project, including when these people need to be relocated by building new houses,” said Pouyanne.

But in a 350.org documentary, victims say that’s not true.

“EACOP promised us that the way they fund people, that people’s livelihoods will change after the pipeline goes through. It’s been five years since then. Now the cost of living has increased. It’s much higher than before. There’s a change that’s happening, like before a million The land used to cost Uganda shillings, now we are going for 30 million. Since then, they promised to compensate the people, nothing has been done. In fact, we have lost, we had land before, now we have neither land nor money,” said a beekeeper. said a community member.

“I had a house and a beekeeping business. After they bought the land they wanted, I could no longer control the beehives freely because people started destroying my beehives thinking that the land was taken by the government. The business collapsed. We grew tobacco and other products that would bring us money. “We used to plant. But now they tell us not to continue planting,” said a community member.

A delegation of climate activists in 2022 Uganda and Tanzania traveled to Europe Highlighting the devastating effects of EACOP on politicians, faith leaders and funders. They were joined by climate activists Europe and demanding climate justice worldwide.

Vanessa Nakatea prominent Ugandan climate justice activist said: “I want Total to stop funding our destruction through the EACOP project. I want people to join us in this fight to stop EACOP and for politicians to stand on the good side of history. people and the planet.”

One of the main things that make the EACOP project possible is its financial backers. It was stated that Asian banks also play an important role in providing this money Eri WatanabeMajor Fund Campaign for 350.org.

Watanabe said Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) is a financial advisor Total Energies and one of the leading organizers for the US3 billion dollars project financing for the project. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), in partnership with Standard Bank South Africa, acts as a financial advisor to venture development companies.

Although more than 30 financial institutions have officially announced that they will not support the project, the #StopEACOP campaign continues to target financiers and potential financiers who support the acceleration of the climate crisis by destroying biodiversity and protected areas in the process at the expense of human life. violation of rights.

Copyright allAfrica.com. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com), source News Service English

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