Lack of national IDs frustrating EACOP compensation process

Hoima – The East African Crude Oil Pipeline [EACOP] project affected persons [PAPs] in the Bunyoro region who missed out on the national identification cards [IDs] are finding it hard to process their compensation.

According to the officials, more than 200 PAPs along the EACOP route are unable to open bank accounts due to a lack of national identification cards.

This was revealed during a regional dialogue on the human rights situation in the oil and gas sector organized by Civic Response on Environment and Development [CRED] in partnership with Advocate San Frontiers [ASF], Oxfam Uganda, and Navigators of Development Association [NAVODA].

The meeting was aimed at sharing information about the progress of the project, discussing the particulars of the human rights situation in the project location, and developing strategies to address the concerns of the communities.

Speaking during the meeting Nanu Beatrice, one of the projects affected persons from Kyakaboga village in Hoima district explained that, her property that includes land, trees, and maize plantation were affected by the project and was due for compensation.

However, when she was asked to open a bank account by the EACOP Project Implementers, her attempts to open a bank account with different financial institutions were futile since she does not have a national identity card.

Innocent Tumwebaze, the Chairman for the Oil Refinery Residents Association [ORRA] noted that more than 10 people on their side in Hoima failed to open bank accounts due to a lack of national identity cards.

Those who failed to acquire national identity cards include but are not limited to the few; Christine Berochan, Beatrice Nanu, Okyaya Kimungu, Kevina Ayerango, Damian Odaga, Jacqueline Okello, and Charles Onyutih.

He noted that most of these people are vulnerable women who are unable to follow up with the process of securing their national identity cards and are now demanding that the government should intervene to help them.

The Executive Director of NAVODA explained that several people were left during the national identification card registration process on the grounds that they were not Ugandans.

She further noted that tribal sentiments in the region made several people miss out on national identification cards and now it is affecting their compensation.

He says that since national identification cards are a prerequisite for one to open up a bank account, many are in dilemma adding that there is fear that they will miss out on their compensation.

During the National ID registration process, many people were left out because they were unable to speak the local Runyoro. In such incidents, they were called Congolese or Munyarwanda.

Hoima and Kikuube have many immigrants from Bunfumbira, Kisoro, and West Nile. These people have been waiting for the government to resume the registration process to clear them but this has not been done.

Bashir Twesigye, the Executive Director of CRED described this challenge as one of human rights violations in the oil and gas sector.

He added that apart from the issues of National IDs, many PAPs have failed to process their compensation due to a lack of letters of administration.

He noted that most of the PAPS are vulnerable and they are unable to follow up issues related to documentation. They challenged EACOP to take responsibility and engage the government to get a way of helping them.

“On the issue of identification, I find it very bad for a project to come and impose a huge responsibility on the poor who do not know how to read and write to process documents if they are to be compensated,” said Twesigye.

Fred Bazarabusa, the Land Acquisition Officer [LAO] for the EACOP project says, they are currently engaging the National Identification & Registration Authority [NIRA] and government to get a way of helping the affected persons to ensure a smooth implementation of the project.

The post Lack of national IDs frustrating EACOP compensation process appeared first on The Cooperator News.