Friday, September 23rd, 2022
You might know a pipeline simply be a long pipe that runs underground for the sole purpose of conveying oil. The East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project is no different and started in 2006 when oil was first discovered in Uganda. The pipeline will transport oil produced from Uganda’s Lake Albert oil fields to Port Tanga in Tanzania where oil is to be sold to the would-be markets.
The completion of this pipeline gives East Africa an upper hand presenting them with opportunities to boost the economies of both Uganda and Tanzania, providing tax revenues for the two Host Governments, job creation, national content, new infrastructure, logistics, skills, foreign direct investment and enhancement of the trade corridor between Uganda and Tanzania.
The European Union parliament has recently condemned and urged Total Energies to postpone the project, to enable feasible studies to explore an alternative route to safeguard protected and sensitive ecosystems and the water resources of Uganda and Tanzania. Given the expectation that the oil transported will be permanently heated at about 50°C to transport, the EU has argued that this will make it the longest heated pipeline in the world causing fears of increased violation of human rights and a risk of poisoning Uganda’s water bodies and wetlands causing a dent in our environment.
This pipeline would transport 200,000 barrels of oil per day and generate up to 34 million tons of carbon emissions each year. While their arguments and fears may be valid, however, the question that remains to be answered is whether the European Union has a valid say in the affairs of African countries.
It is very rare for a child of God to find gold and crude oil on the floor to fetch. He/she must dig and dig deeply well!Israelmore Ayivore
The resolution arises after continued protests from several Environmental Activists against the project. President Museveni stated that the project will continue despite the European Union’s resolution. The resolution may have a massive effect on the social-economic growth of both Uganda and Tanzania. This includes a loss of job opportunities that were promised to several people and a decrease in investments. For the EU to have such a massive influence on the decisions that affect Africa’s economy is questionable given that both states are fully independent and able to address their internal processes. This decision carries the following implications;
i) In 1062, resolution 1803 passed by the United Nations general assembly gave countries permanent sovereignty over their natural resources. Every country after this was allowed to explore and utilize its natural resources as they deemed fit. The current resolution made by the European Union against the EACOP project is a violation of this right to sovereignty and freedom to their natural resources for their social-economic growth.
ii) The argument that the pipeline will have great environmental implications is quite invalid, given that majority of the global gas emissions is present within more developed countries than in Africa. This shows that this is a direct frustration of the project.
iii) The countries involved, that is Uganda and Tanzania, need to pursue measures that place the EU’s fears to rest providing for technical ways to ensure environmental management to avoid any environmental issues that may arise.
iv) A definite setback is bound to occur incase Uganda or international companies that have committed to invest in the projects withdraw. It’s important to note that this decision is not binding but if any game players decide to comply, that would delay any processes that have started.
We do not agree with this decision, and to give our country a fighting chance to overturn this resolution and place the reins back in our hands we call you to sign the following petition below:
ABM Chambers, House 42 | 54 Kanjokya Street, Kamwokya
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