30 Buliisa residents petition lands minister over compensation

By Ritah Kemigisa

Thirty project persons from Kasinyi Village Ngwendo Subcounty, Buliisa district where the oil and gas central processing facility is to be constructed have petitioned the minister for lands contesting the land compensation rates.

Led by their chairman Blasio Mpangirwe, the residents say the rates are low further demanding for a win-win situation where the rates equate to the current land market values.

Government is offering these project affected person’s Shs 3.5m plus 30% of its value making it Shs 4.5M.

However, the residents are now demanding for Shs 15m arguing that the Shs 4.5m is insufficient to enable them buy land elsewhere.

Responding to their grievances, lands minister Betty Amongi said government could not increase the rates because the over 150 people who have so far accepted the money are proof that it is sufficient.

She said the only option for them was to agree to a resettlement or they go to court.

The group’s contestation is based on among other grounds, the fact that the Shs3.5m is insufficient to enable us buy alternative land in the neighborhood of their original land. They claim that in the nearest Sub County of Kigwera, an care of land today costs about Shs 10m.

They also argue that the project has disrupted the social fabric of the society including cultural asses, graveyards and social infrastructure over which they have emotional attachment.