By Mutayoba Arbogast,Tanzania
TANZANIA and Uganda governments are furious at European Parliament(EU) resolution,challenging the East African Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP) which runs from Hoima, Uganda to Chongoleani, Tanga, Tanzania,urges Total Energies to take one year before launching the project to study ecosystem and water resources in both countries, saying there are violations of human rights linked to the project.
September 14,2022,European Parliament through a joint motion passed Resolution number 2022/2826/RSP advised Tanzania and Uganda,not to develop the EACOP, one of the section,reads,
“whereas the construction and operational phases are expected to cause further serious adverse impacts for communities within the oil extraction and pipeline areas, including jeopardizing water resources and irremediably harming the livelihoods of farmers, fisherfolk and tourism business owners who depend upon the region’s rich natural resources; whereas the offshore facilities of EACOP on the Tanzanian coast will be built in a high tsunami-risk zone, endangering protected marine areas; whereas these risks were noted by the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment in its ‘Advisory Review of the resubmitted Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the EACOP’, highlighting in particular that the proposed technique for water and wetland crossings (open trench) has the potential for significant negative impacts, particularly in wetlands”
Tanzania’s Minister of Energy,January Makamba, speaking in Dar es salaam September 16,2022,strongly refuted the EU resolution ,by saying the environmental impact assessment was done in due diligence, and that everything is okay and going smoothly.
Dr Samwel Gwamaka,CEO,National Environment Management Council(NEMC) says all necessary procedures were met including registration, environmental impact assessment and accredited with IFS,of a World Bank standard, and that a good section of Project Affected Persons(PAPs),have been compensated ,and some built modern houses
He termed the allegations as fake, aimed at handcuffing the efforts towards development, just to remain dependants.
Deputy Speaker of Uganda Parliament,Thomas Tayebwa,said the motion by EU Parliament intends to deny Uganda and Tanzania the benefits and opportunities from the oil and gas,using misinformation and misrepresentation about environment and human rights.
He is quoted as saying the resolution shows the high level of neocolonialism and imperialism against the sovereignty of Uganda and Tanzania.
Also the EU Parliament urges member countries, not to enter any diplomatic and financial support to the project.
“I condemn this motion and resolution that was passed,which is based on misinformation and delivery misrepresentation of key facts of environment and human rights protection.It is a high level of economic sabotage”,said Deputy Speaker,Tayebwa.
The East Africans in social platforms such as Twitter, were aggrieved by the motion and asked European countries to stop intervening in internal affairs of Africa,but cant see their own misdeeds.
Kansiima Nancy,a Ugandan, hits back, “Your disinformation notwithstanding, Meet the Nordstreams,a natural gas pipeline that serves Europe, but it is on EACOP that you want to draw a line”.
France TotalErnegies and the China Offshore Oil Company,signed a $10 billion agreement to develop and ship the crude oil through a 1,445 km pipeline, the longest pipeline in the world using a technology of transporting the heated oil.
However, the companies,along with Deutshe Bank are put to more pressure to stop the project.
10,000 to 15,000 Tanzanians are expected to be employed when the project starts operating.
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is quoted as saying, “We shall pump oil by 2025,come what may”.