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The lists from Sembabule and Lwengo districts had similar figures for all the items to be compensated.

They only changed the name of the district. Kyotera, however, had the same amount for earth graves, but the constructed ones differed, reflecting slightly lower rates. Considering the size of the graves, the compensation they are fetching is higher than that for residential houses.

Compensation for the earth floor mud and wattle dwellings was put at sh60,000 per square metre, and space in a similar house with a cement floor is fetching sh65,000. It should be noted that the biggest space that can be assigned to a grave is three square metres, which means that at sh600,000, a bare earth grave is compensated at sh200,000 per square metre.

Other compensation rates include sh70,000 for a square metre in an iron roof mud and wattle house. A similar house with cemented floor and iron roof is expected to fetch sh130,000 per square metre. In Kyotera, brick residential and commercial buildings will fetch sh100,000 per square metre whereas one with a cemented floor will be compensated at sh130,000.

The valuation for graves in Kyotera has slight variations from those of Sembabule and Lwengo districts. For Lwengo and Sembabule, their rates mirrored each other. Compensation rates for the other districts where the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) will pass could not be got by press time.

The other EACOP districts are Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba and Rakai. Gilbert Kermundu, the Chief Government Valuer, confirmed the development. In an interview at the lands ministry headquarters in Kampala, Kermundu said all the compensation rates were received and analysed before they were approved.

He said the only district that has not been approved for compensation is Kikuube, which was recently carved out of Hoima district. Kermundu said this is because the district does not have a land board yet, to approve the rates.

He, however, said the lands ministry will use the rates prevailing in Hoima to compensate the people in Kikuube.

RECENT REPORT ON GRAVES

It is interesting to note that a recent study conducted by the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas in Uganda (CSCO) indicated that in many communities, people are constructing fake graves to attract more compensation.

Others declared their relatives dead, to have a larger grave yard. Paul Twebaze a member of CSCO, said in an interview that some people were killing and burying animals, such as dogs, cows and goats, as well as banana stems, to create a semblance of a large grave yard.

James Muhindo, also from CSCO, said: “We are likely to have issues with compensation. Oil and gas activities have raised anxiety among the people. It explains why graves are being set up for money.”

The study, dubbed “Safeguarding people and nature in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project” called upon the government to address compensation issue before the project starts.

COMPENSATION FOR PLANTS

According to the rates, different crops have been tagged with different rates. The crops include banana trees, tobacco, coffee, mangoes and other fruits grown in the area.

In Sembabule and Lwengo districts, a good and mature banana plantation will attract sh22m per acre and sh50,000 per clump. Banana plantations maintained for two to three years will attract sh18m per acre and sh40,000 per clump.

The compensation for both districts indicate that a banana plantation of one to two years, will be valued at sh7m per acre and sh16, 000 per clump. Plantations maintained for less than a year are expected to fetch sh3.5m per acre and sh8, 000 per clump.

Mango trees are second most expensive plants. They have been classified into two – local breed (ordinary) and grafted. A local mature mango tree will cost sh638, 500 per tree, whereas a medium local mango tree will cost sh300, 000 and a younger one will be valued at sh50, 000. For each grafted mature mango tree, sh600,000 will be compensated, a medium one at sh250,000 and sh50,000 for a young one.

A mature and good robusta coffee tree is valued at sh88,000 per plant. A non-clonal mature tree (four to five years) is valued at sh30,300 per plant. The cheapest robusta coffee tree in both Sembabule and Lwengo at less than a year is valued at sh8,600 per plant.

For tobacco, regardless of age, a plant will be compensated at sh20, 000 per square metre. BEANS, SOYA AND GROUNDNUTS Plants like beans, soya and groundnuts were classified as mature or young and attract different compensation rates. Groundnuts are the most expensive, with those classified as mature fetching sh3.2m per acre and the young fetching sh2.4m per acre. Mature soya beans were valued at sh1.8m per acre and beans at sh1.7m.

For the young plants, both soya and beans were valued at sh557, 000 per acre. Other crops also have their compensation rates. From Page 23 According to Fred Kalyesubula, the Kytera Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the compensation rates were arrived at after consultation. The people who collected the information were trained on how to collect the data by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and oil company Total E&P.

Total E&P is the lead Joint Venture Partner on the development of the EACOP. Those who collected the data included the district land board staff. “The data gathered from the field was compiled and analysed by the consultants, where a list of compensation rates were developed,”

Kalyesubula stated while justifying the rates in an April 25, 2019 letter to the Chief Government Valuer. Michael Kakuru, the acting CAO for Sembabule, concurred with him. In his June 13, 2019 letter to the lands ministry permanent secretary, Kakuru stated that the district land board approved the compensation rates.

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