Civil Society Organisations have called upon the governments of Tanzania and Uganda to develop Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs) in a participatory and transparent manner.
This follows the envisaged construction of the Hoima-Tanga crude oil pipeline, which is expected to start early next year.
The plea was made by the chairman of Northern Coalition for Oil and Gas, Mr Josiah Severre during a press conference held here on Monday.
Mr Severre insisted that compensation must be based on fair market value.
“Compensation alone is not enough, the RAPs should also include adequate provisions for the restoration and improvement of livelihoods that will be affected by the project,” he said. Mr Severre also urged the two governments and the companies, which will be implementing the project to establish a mechanism to handle grievances from the community.
“Grievances should be addressed timely. The affected communities should be involved fully. We want the process of addressing complaints to be clear, consistent and transparent,” said he.
For his part, Global Rights Alert (GRA) project officer from Uganda Mr Kennedy Mugume expressed his optimism that the crude oil pipeline project would benefit both countries’ economies.
However, he warned that the urgency to have the crude oil pipeline in place by 2020 should not jeopardise or stop both environmental and social issues processes.
He stressed that the project should comply with all environmental legislations and protocols for land acquisition.
They were speaking just two days after President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart laid the foundation stone for the project, which would cost $3.5 billion at Chongoleani village in the region.
The pipeline, which will cover 1, 450 kilometre, is meant to transport the crude oil from Hoima in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania.