Some residents in Kyapoloni moved from farming to petty trade with the perception that with an oil refinery in the area, there would no farming. But community leaders like Rev. Fred Musimenta show that farming can be adapted to the developments.
The series of oil discoveries in what is known as the Albertine Graben, which is found in the Bunyoro region, have caused anxiety among communities leaving near the area with many anticipating to reap big while others are bothered over losing their properties to oil companies and government.
To many people, oil could mean more money in their pockets. It is wealth beyond their expectations in terms of employment, lower pump prices, good roads, health facilities and schools—and probably cash payouts from the government once the drilling of oil starts.
However, others are worried about being evicted from their ancestral land, losing their cultural sites as well as their way of life because the good prospects attract many people to the area to tap the benefits.
"I have written to the IGG about this because it's wrong for politicians not to declare any gift of economic value,” Museveni said as he reeled off a number of NGOs he said are fronting foreign interests through funding these workshops. The NGOs included PFOG, NAPE, Globe Alert, ACODE, CECOG, and AFiego.
When asked about the matter, Frank Mulamuzi executive director National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) said: We are not being used by anybody, this country belongs to all of us and not only one person saying we are being used by donors to promote their interests is not right. Where government gets its money is where we also get our funding, we all want to benefit from this resource."
Officials from Mehta Group of companies and the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited in whose favour Museveni wants 7,100 hectares to be degazetted also attended the meeting.
"The battle for Mabira is going to be won or lost in Parliament," said Frank Muramuzi, the executive director of the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE).
He called on the public to put pressure on their MPs, the ministers and Mehta to stop the Mabira giveaway.
The Retired Supreme Court judge, George Kanyeihamba, has asked the Government to establish an oil commission to oversee the management of oil exploration in the country.
Kanyeihamba was speaking during the commissioning of the sustainability school run by the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE).
Thanks to NEMA’s efforts and NGOs like NAPE, a number of wetlands like the ones along the Kampala-Masaka road have not yet been destroyed.
The hot and humid weather conditions that one would expect to find at the Equator crossing at Mbizinya-Buwama is no more because of climate change.
This has been made worse by the Government’s choice to replace natural forests with artificial man-made systems. The result is that widespread prolonged droughts have engulfed a large part of the country causing famine, hunger and starvation.