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New HRW Report Looks at Loss of Land and Livelihoods for Oil in Uganda

HRW says that while 90% of the people who have lost land to the pipeline project have received financial compensation, the payments were delayed for years and people were inadequately compensated. “Our first meeting with Total they said, ‘Your standard of living will be elevated, you will no longer be poor,” a 48-year-old Ugandan woman supporting seven children, told Human Rights Watch in March. “Now with the oil project starting, we are landless and are the poorest in the country.” The woman was referring to the French fossil-fuel giant Total Energies. Her comments are included in a Human Rights Watch 47-page report — Our Trust Is Broken: Loss of Land and Livelihoods for Oil in Uganda — released Monday. According to the rights organization, if the pipeline is completed, it will result in the displacement of more than 100,000 people, cause food insecurity and household debt. It will also force children to leave schools. TotalEnergies does not view the project in the same way and said on its website that “Each family whose primary residence is being relocated may choose between a new home and monetary compensation in kind. An accessible, transparent and fair complaints-handling system will be running throughout the process.”