Total E&P has said it has concluded the compensation of farmers in Ngwedo and Kigwera Sub Counties, Buliisa District, who were affected by the seismic data acquisition process of the oil company.
In a press statement issued Tuesday evening, Total E&P said it had compensated 13,666 gardens belonging to farmers from ten villages in the two sub counties. According to Chris Ocowun, a Public Relations Officer at Total E&P, said the compensation cost five billion Uganda Shillings to the oil company.
The oil company was acquiring data for its oil exploration activities, and communities around the area were affected. Between September 2013 and May 2014, Total E&P carried out these activities and farmers’ gardens were trampled on and destroyed. Ocowun also said that the rates used by their subcontractor, BGP, a Chinese firm, were in line with the government rates.
In order to carryout surveys on how much oil could be in the ground and determine where it is best to drill the oil, Total adopted the data acquisition method that required use of large pieces of land. The areas where this activity was done is also close to the Murchison Falls National Park, where Total is the main operator. With the conclusion of all appraisal activities, Total submitted applications for two production licenses and is currently awaiting approval from government. Once oil production starts, Total will be entitled to recover all its capital expenses that were incurred during the exploration and appraisal stages. These will include the money they spent on compensation.