Oxfam : A Human Rights Impact Assessment of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline

When commercial deposits of oil were discovered under Uganda’s Lake Albert in 2006, the region was quickly transformed into one of the world’s top exploration hotspots. More than a decade later, however, oil production has yet to commence. A significant barrier to the commercialization of these deposits is their remote, inland location and the need for an export pipeline to transport the crude oil to the coast and onward to international markets. After years of negotiating, the governments of Uganda and Tanzania finalized an agreement in 2017 to build the East African Crude Oil pipeline (EACOP), with French energy company Total1 as the lead developer of the project. The final investment decision should be made in 2020, with pipeline construction starting in March 2021.
At a distance of 1,440 kilometers (900 miles) and at an estimated cost of $3.5 billion, the EACOP would be one of the largest infrastructure projects in East Africa and the longest heated oil pipeline in the world. The pipeline would transport oil from a pumping station near Hoima, Uganda, to a storage terminal near the city of Tanga, on the northeastern coast of Tanzania. The route would run beside Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, and pass through diverse ecosystems and human settlements.
Empty Promises Down the Line? highlights the risks of the EACOP for communities located along the proposed pipeline corridor in Uganda and Tanzania. Researched and produced by Global Rights Alert (GRA), the Civic Response on Environment and Development (CRED), the Northern Coalition for Extractives and Environment (NCEE), and Oxfam, the report seeks to identify and document the actual and potential human rights implications of this major infrastructure project from a community perspective. The report also provides recommendations to the governments and companies involved about how to mitigate the adverse impacts, defend human rights, and promote inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability.

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