The Paramount Chief of Acholi, Rwot David Onen Acana II, has advised Total Exploration and Production Company, a firm that has taken over the oil exploration project in Nwoya District from Tullow Oil, to consult relevant communities before acquiring land for their activities.
Rwot Acana added that being in touch with the local communities will cultivate goodwill and support that the company needs for its operations.
The Paramount Chief who met Total officials during a courtesy call at the palace noted that land issues in Acholi sub-region have become sensitive and if not handled careful will lead to tension in the community.
“Land issues have generated a lot of heat and misunderstandings in the region, but if proper procedures are followed, you will not go wrong,” Rwot Achana said, adding that the Acholi cultural institution welcomes meaningful investment that can transform people’s life.
Rwot Achana also called for a meeting between the company and the community on how to control and manage waste from the oil fields citing Tullow Oil and Heritage as earlier companies that had minimal dialogue with the communities.
The General Manager of Total Uganda, Mr Loic Laurandel, said his company will work towards rectifying the environmental problems created by previous companies in regards to waste disposal. Mr Laurandel said the Environmental Impact Assessment his company carried out before venturing into the business would help them meet the needs of the people during drilling and seismic stages.
“We want to ensure that we address the environmental problems created by our predecessors and also guard against practices that would expose the land to risks,” he said.
The oil exploration site, which lies close to Murchison Falls National Park, has been a subject of concern for environmentalists, who say that the activity of the oil companies are rendering people’s land infertile, contaminating water sources and also chasing away animals from the park. By A Web design Company
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