Geneva Council- Expressing deep concern for the dire environmental consequences and negative impact on local communities, Geneva Council demands swift action to protect vulnerable ecosystems and safeguard the rights of affected individuals.
The $10-billion agreement, signed last year between TotalEnergies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, aims to develop oilfields in Uganda and establish a 1,445-kilometer (900-mile) pipeline for the transportation of crude to the port of Tanga in Tanzania, situated along the Indian Ocean. However, the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project has encountered strong resistance from human rights activists and environmental organizations, prompting legal action in France and critical scrutiny in the European Parliament.
TotalEnergies asserts that fair compensation has been provided to those impacted by the project and emphasizes the implementation of measures to protect the environment. In sharp contrast, HRW contends that the ambitious undertaking will cause irreparable harm to fragile ecosystems, with allegations of mistreatment and inadequate compensation for the expected 100,000 displaced individuals.
Conducting comprehensive research, HRW’s team conducted over 90 interviews between March and April of this year. These interviews included discussions with 75 displaced families, revealing numerous instances of delayed or insufficient compensation. HRW’s findings also indicate instances where individuals felt coerced into selling their land.
“Families affected by EACOP have faced immeasurable hardships, losing not only their land—essential for their sustenance and the livelihood of their children—but also receiving grossly inadequate compensation from TotalEnergies,” warns Felix Horne, senior environment researcher at HRW. “The consequences of EACOP extend beyond the local communities and are catastrophic for our planet. It is imperative that this project be halted immediately.”
HRW further documented cases of rights violations, including farmers burdened by debt due to protracted compensation delays, resulting in 37 instances where children were reportedly forced to abandon their education due to their families’ inability to pay school fees.
In solidarity with HRW, Geneva Council echoes the urgent call to action, emphasizing the need to protect the environment, uphold human rights, and ensure justice for the affected communities. As an independent news organization dedicated to promoting transparency and accountability, Geneva Council pledges to continue shining a light on critical issues like the TotalEnergies oil project in Uganda, advocating for the rights of the marginalized, and raising awareness among global stakeholders.