Government has secured a piece of land to resettle families living on a chunk of land earmarked for a refinery in Hoima District.
The 93 families, who are part of the more than 7,000 people who were displaced by the refinery, opted to be relocated instead of receiving payment from the government as compensation.
Refinery communication officer Bashir Hangi said the government has bought a 500-acre piece of land in Kyakabooga village, Buseruka Sub-county in Hoima District to relocate the residents.
“After completing payments to the two landlords who sold the land, the next step is for the consultants (Strategic Friends International to demarcate the land,” Mr Hangi told Daily Monitor on Monday.
He said each family will get a piece of land equivalent to the land it previously held.
Mr Hangi said the government will also construct roads, water sources, extend power and other amenities to the relocation sites.
“Government will construct permanent houses for each of the relocated household. They will be consulted in the designs of the houses and physical development plans of the site,” he said.
The families have since welcomed the move. Mr Richard Orebi, the chairman of the relocation committee, said the relocation has been long overdue.
“Most of our neighbours who accepted compensation have left the area, leaving us surrounded with bushes and wildlife. We are living in uncertainty and our livelihoods have been disrupted,” Mr Orebi said.
The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), one of the NGOs advocating for the rights of the people affected by the refinery, called on the government to provide a timeline for resettling the families.
The resettlement of people displaced by the oil refinery has been dogged by challenges. While majority accepted government compensation, about 70 others rejected the compensation rates and dragged government to court, accusing it of violating their rights and attempting to take over their properties without paying them fair, timely and adequate compensation.