Government of Uganda plans to amend the Mining Act 2001 to allow intending investors in the mining industry to access private land that contains minerals without negotiating with the land owners. Currently, investors seeking mining business have to obtain consent of the private owners of the land where mineral deposits exist.
This law amendment comes at the height of vast discoveries of different minerals deposits across the country. If this law is passed, many Ugandans will be landless, poor and destitute in their own country. Yet the objective of Africa Mining Vision and Country Mining Vision is to transform extractives to improve livelihoods and industrialisation.
Environmentalists under the umbrella of National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) yesterday celebrated their victory over the president’s 2006 Mabira give away.
This was during meetings between NAPE and environmentalists from Uganda, East African, Africa and Europe and the residents that live around Mabira forest. Talking to the residents, NAPE boss, Frank Muramuzi, who, together with Maama Mabira-Beatrice Anywar spearheaded the campaign to save Mabira said that they have a reason to celebrate because the struggle was not so easy.
“All the benefits that you are deriving from this forest would be no more by now if this forest was replaced with sugar cane as the president had wanted. We would not be getting the rain generated by this forest, the fire wood, and herbs. No tourist would be still coming here because this unique green and animals, birds, insects in it would be a myth,” Muramuzi said while addressing residents.
Government has secured a piece of land to resettle families living on a chunk of land earmarked for a refinery in Hoima District.
The 93 families, who are part of the more than 7,000 people who were displaced by the refinery, opted to be relocated instead of receiving payment from the government as compensation.
Refinery communication officer Bashir Hangi said the government has bought a 500-acre piece of land in Kyakabooga village, Buseruka Sub-county in Hoima District to relocate the residents.
“After completing payments to the two landlords who sold the land, the next step is for the consultants (Strategic Friends International to demarcate the land,” Mr Hangi told Daily Monitor on Monday.
He said each family will get a piece of land equivalent to the land it previously held.
Mr Hangi said the government will also construct roads, water sources, extend power and other amenities to the relocation sites.
“Government will construct permanent houses for each of the relocated household. They will be consulted in the designs of the houses and physical development plans of the site,” he said.
Water pollution is a serious problem for the entire world. As Uganda plans to start extracting her oil resources, communities in the oil region are becoming worried. Water threatens the health and well being of humans, plants, and animals. All water pollution is dangerous to the health of living organisms, but lakes and river pollution can be especially detrimental to the health of humans and animals. Rivers and lakes are used as primary sources of potable water by populations all over the world. Another serious consequence of this pollution is the effect of this pollution on trade (fisheries) in the polluted area and agriculture.
Developments on wetlands and other hurdles are likely to make it difficult for the government to implement a recent directive to cancel land titles in swampy areas, the Lands ministry spokesperson has said.
In an interview with The Observer last week, Denis Obbo admitted that most of the affected land is now encumbered. Obbo argues that many title holders have paid huge sums of money to the controlling authorities in form of premium and yearly rent. He added that many of them then went ahead to encumber the titles by introducing third parties, some of whom are mortgagees.
“The ministry will find it difficult to immediately cancel such titles, more so if there are developments which may have been done after issuance with approvals from the relevant planning authorities,” he said, adding that a special budget should be considered for the likely legal actions.