Chinese Oil Firm Compensates Ugandans

An oil company has compensated residents in an area of western Uganda by building them new houses to make way for a new road.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Uganda Limited, recently handed over four houses to local residents of Kyangwali and Buhuka in Hoima District who were affected by the construction of a road in the area.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Wei Chai, the Head of Corporate Affairs, said CNOOC is dedicated to working with the government and residents to develop the areas where it’s operating.

“The road project and the houses were constructed as part CNOOC Uganda’s commitment to achieve a win- win situation and a harmonized relationship with the host communities in its operation area.

“We are glad that the community is willing to work with us to develop this community together. As an energy company with a g sense of social responsibility, CNOOC Uganda is committed to compensate those affected by their projects and to promote development in society through environment, health, education and sports initiatives,” she said.

The houses were constructed after some families were displaced by the construction of the escarpment road between Kyangwali and Buhuka. As part of the compensation package, CNOOC Uganda built houses for some families while others opted for cash settlements.

The road project saw at least 38 people affected, four of these asked to be constructed a house while the rest opted for money which was paid to them.

Each of the housing units comprise of two bedrooms, a living room, an external kitchen, a bathroom and an external latrine estimated at $4000.

CNOOC Uganda is a subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, China’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas and one of the world’s largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies.

The company was awarded a production license for the ‘Kingfisher Development Area’ in September last year. The project, which will also include the construction of all infield roads linking the planned oil facilities at Kingfisher, will cost about 20 million dollars (50 billion shillings).

Specious Kadada, one of the beneficiaries said she was comfortable with the house because it was better than the one she had before.

“I am grateful to CNOOC for this compensation. It is more than I expected because the house I had before was not good. And offering my house to be destroyed so that a road can be constructed was something I did with pleasure because I am also going to gain from the aantages of having a road in our areas. Getting a car to take you to the next town has been trouble for us in the past years. With this road, I am sure our lives will be improved,” Kadada said.

Source : East African Business Week

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