“French oil giant Total’s projects in East Africa violate human rights, environmental safeguards”

A report by Amis de la Terre France (Friends of the Earth) and Survie (Survival) says that the company’s projects have threatened more than 100,000 people’s livelihoods and created conditions for their displacement without proper compensation

October 21, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Fred Mwesigwa and Jealousy Mugisha, two Ugandan nationals who testified against Total in a French court and faced threats and harassment.

The human rights of thousands of people in Uganda and Tanzania and the biodiversity of the region have been threatened by the oil projects of French oil giant Total in the East African region, says a report.

According to the report released by two French campaign groups, Amis de la Terre France (Friends of the Earth) and Survie (Survival) on Tuesday, October 20, the company has threatened more than 100,000 people’s livelihoods and created conditions for their displacement without proper compensation. The project which involves oil extraction and a pipeline project in Uganda and Tanzania also threatens the crucial environmental balance and biodiversity of the region.

Though the company has denied the allegations, the campaign groups are seeking a court order in France to force it to disclose the details of measures taken by it to address the grievances of the people directly and indirectly affected by the project.

According to the report, the company has even intimidated the local residents to force them out of their lands and threatened those who have voiced concerns and opposed it. People have been forced “to leave their villages several times to find safety” elsewhere, the report says. Total has also failed to provide proper compensation to all those who would be displaced due to the project.

The oil project, expected to produce 200,000 barrels of oil each day once completed, also includes a 1,445 kilometers pipeline, East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) which will carry the oil produced in Uganda to Tanzania for shipping.    

The report also blames the company for violations of environmental safeguards in collaboration with the local administration. Based around Lake Albert and Murchison Falls National Park — a crucial ecological hotspot of the African continent with over half of its bird species and almost 40% of mammalian animal population represented — the project will have over 130 boreholes and over 400 wells, Al Jazeera reported. This can have a potential irreversible impact on the environment of the region.

× To Subscribe