Mr. Barikenda Fred, living on a clan land in Buliisa district is a Tilenga project-affected person. The land on which his house sits was compensated and he qualified for house reconstruction before he could be moved.
However, Barikende and his four children were on 7th September 2022 ring-fenced as a measure to force them out of the place even when they had not built their house as it had been agreed.
“TotalEnergies came and [ring]-fenced me and my family without my consent. They were supposed to construct my house somewhere else then I leave the site,” helpless man told press on March 21, 2023.
“They came telling to vacate so quickly that the government wanted to use the site (his land).”
Barikende says he has since gone through a lot of hardships to keep his family alive since he can no longer use the land which was his only source of food.
“Even my pigs died and they were my source of income and now my children are no longer studying. I will not leave until my rights are respected,” he noted.
Barikende is not alone. Mr. Byakagaba Geoffrey also narrates that TotalEnergies and Government of Uganda came and tried to acquire their land at only shs3.5m per acre.
Their request for in kind compensation, he said, were futile.
“With shs3.5m, there is nowhere in Buliisa where you can find an acre of land. The nine families that were not compensated are now landless,” he said.
The poor locals also noted that their small remaining portions of land are today unfit for agriculture, having been logged with floods from the Tilenga Central Processing Facility (CPF).
“The floods from the Tilenga Central Processing Facility have destroyed all our crops,” they said, adding that, “We have made an alarm in every corner but no help.”
Ms. Nyakato Margret, also a PAP said, “I grew up in Kasenyi village but I’ve never seen floods like these. Since this project began, the environment has severely been affected. Our animals no longer have water to drink nor where to graze. We are even scared of our children drowning there.”
The locals say the environmental impact assessment conducted by the National Environmental Management Authority – NEMA hasn’t helped them “because flooding has been happening for a year and we have made several complaints including to the ministry of health but still nothing has been done.”
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