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Project Introduction

Background

The Project target beneficiaries are communities in Hoima and Buliisa Districts in Bunyoro region in the Albertine geographical region. During the colonial period some communities were evicted from their lands in order to create the Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve. The removed people then turned to fishing as their main livelihood activity as they no longer had access to their ancestral lands. The protected areas of the Wildlife Park have now been reduced in order to grant concessions for oil exploration seriously affecting again these communities. Negotiations between the Ugandan Government and the oil companies took place without sufficient, informed consultation with the communities living in the affected region. This has led to allegations of illegal evictions and human rights abuses contributing to a growing risk of violent conflict. Ugandan law recognizes customary land tenure where land is owned and disposed of in line with customary regulations, which vary according to ethnic groups and regions. In Hoima and Buliisa the community customary governance systems have broken down to such an extent that they are not able to neither protect community interest nor deal with inter-community conflicts. The result of which is neglect and subsequent disregard of the communities right to access water, grow food and visit Sacred Natural Sites (SNS),  which has led to conflict when the affected communities feel that they have no recourse to justice. The Bunyoro Kingdom, covering Buliisa and Hoima district, has customary responsibilities to the citizens within its Kingdom; however links between the Kingdom and the clans have also been disorganized,weakening the Kingdoms ability to advocate on behalf of the community in land and governance disputes.

To address this core problem of the lack of good governance and human rights protection, the overall objective is to strengthen the capacity of community cultural governance systems that protect the rights of indigenous communities in the oil-affected regions and reduce the risk of conflict.

Project Areas

Specifically, the Project will:

  1. Enable and empower indigenous communities in Buliisa and Hoima to strengthen their governance systems and exercise their rights over land, food systems and natural heritage.
    This means, through dialogues and workshops, supporting communities to revive and enhance their traditional governance systems and raise the affected community`s awareness and knowledge of their rights as indigenous communities and their rights to access communal land, including customary mechanisms available if and when conflict arises. The communities will be empowered to articulate and advocate for recognition of these rights.
  2. Build the capacity of the Bunyoro Kingdom in its engagement with government over governance of ecosystems and territories in Buliisa and Hoima.

Through meetings and awareness raising dialogue sessions, we will deliver activities that improve relations between the clans and the Bunyoro Kingdom whilst working with the Kingdom to improve its capacity to advocate on behalf of its citizens with the government. This will equip and enable the Kingdom to play an intermediary role between communities and other stakeholders in the oil-affected region.
The 3- year project is supported by the European Union  and will run from 2016 to 2019

Improvement to the situation of the target groups and final beneficiaries