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Acholi region leaders negotiate oil benefits

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Acholi leaders visit the oil wells in  Purongo Sub-county Nwoya District recently. Photo by  sam Lawino.

Acholi leaders visit the oil wells in Purongo Sub-county Nwoya District recently. Photo by Sam Lawino.  

By  Sam Lawino & Winny Acayo

Posted  Friday, December 20  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

The leaders are concerned mainly about the effect that the oil exploration is likely to have on the environment.

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Gulu- Leaders in Acholi sub-region have formed a committee to negotiate with government on how best the locals in the sub-region can benefit from the oil wells found in their land.

The leaders raised concerns that the Acholi might miss out on some of the benefits since the companies are doing most of the activities of exploration and production in secrecy.

The three-day conference held at Boma Hotel in Gulu, was sponsored by International Alert, an NGO. The conference resolved to form a body to build concession with Total E&P and government in terms of benefits through corporate social responsibility that can help the locals to improve on their lives.

Leaders also want the issue of waste management to be handled in a manner that will not affect people’s land in the future.

The team entrusted with the mandate are two lawyers, Mr Francis Gimara and Julius Ojok, others are Invisible Children Regional Ambassador Jolly Okot Laker, Prof Ogenga Latigo, the committee Chairperson, Mr Samuel Odonga Otto (Aruu County MP), Rosalba Oywaa and Christine Oryema Lalobo from civil society organisation.

We hereby formed a committee that will look into the terms set herein that shall inform people regularly,” says Justice Alfonse Chigamoi Owiny Dollo.

Oil waste has since worried the leaders and residents who had in the last two years faced uncontrolled dumping of waste in Purongo Sub-county in Nwoya District.

Ms Sarah Lanyero, Woman MP for Lamwo District, said whereas the oil would fetch revenue for government and would help improve the lives of the local people, unsettled oil waste deposit by the company still threatens human habitat.

“We have seen and learnt that there is still need to explain more on oil waste disposal,” Lanyero said.

The government geologist, Mr Bob Felix Ociti, said Total E&P and ministry of Energy were working to protect the environment .

“We require that all companies in the Albertine region take environmental co-existence with nature,” he said.

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