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Petrochemical industrial park in Hoima, Uganda


The Government of Uganda acquired 2,957 hectares of land in Kabaale Parish, Busekera Sub-County, Hoima District for development of a petro-based industrial park, referred to as Kabaale Industrial Park. The phased project includes: Uganda’s second international airport, crude oil export pipeline hub, oil refinery, warehousing and logistics, polymer and fertiliser industries and agro-processors. The site is on the shore of Lake Albert and near oil fields in the Albertine Graben Region.[1] In 2012 the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development released a draft map showing the area earmarked for the project, listing 13 affected villages: Kyapaloni, Nyamasoga, Bukona A, Bukona B, Kayeera, Nyahaira, Kitegegwa, Kigaaga B, Katooke, Kitemba, Kabaale A, Kabaale B and Nyakasinini.[2] A Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) was conducted by a Ugandan firm, Strategic Friends International, and completed in July 2012.[3] By 2014 only 52 per cent of the 7,118 affected people had been compensated for acquisition of their land. A report by the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) documented two years of human rights abuses. People who asked for relocation or rejected inadequate compensation were left languishing in ‘ghost villages’, suffering food shortages with little or no access to clean water, schools, health care. By April 2015, 670 property owners were still awaiting compensation, and 42 of them were disputing the low rates that had been offered. In April 2015 93 families who opted for relocation rather than compensation were still waiting land that was promised to them. They remained stranded, in desperate need of shelter, still lacking access to clean water as boreholes had broken down and acutely short of food because they were unable to grow crops. In October 2015, 60 affected families demonstrated against the government’s failure to relocate them, three years after acquiring their land. They marched 50 kilometres to Hoima town, where they presented a petition demanding immediate action.[4] Socio-economic impacts of oil development: A 2016 paper on the socio-economic effects of the oil industry in Hoima, by Miriam Kyomugasho, documented many shortcomings in the resettlement plan. The 93 families who had opted for relocation were still not resettled. They had attempted all available channels to seek redress, including petitioning the Ugandan president, to no avail. Compensation for the 1,126 households that opted for cash was insufficient to purchase land equivalent to what they had given up, a situation exacerbated by high land appreciation rates. People who remained in Kabaale, 132 families, lacked basic amenities like clean water, schools and markets. There were specific impacts on women. Denied rights to own land, some women receiving compensation for land to farm ended up landless and homeless. Family structures were fractured by the scattering of people and some husbands abandoned their wives and children after receiving compensation. A multitude of factors had eroded food security. People awaiting resettlement were prevented from using their land for perennial crops and the short-term crops they planted were often eaten by wild animals that had taken over vacated areas. Farmers who had sold surplus food crops had reduced incomes. Staple food prices rose and with local markets closed people had to travel long distances to buy food. Most fishing activities had ceased as waters came under control of oil companies.[5].  In May 2017 Christopher Opio - a resident of Kyapaloni village and general secretary of Oil Refinery Residents Association (ORRA), formed to address problems caused by compulsory land acquisition - wrote a letter in response to media reports that the state minister for planning, David Bahati, was defending a government budget request for the proposed airport and wanted to begin works to prepare for construction. Opio wrote that beginning work for the airport would worry the 83 families the government had yet to relocate and ‘create panic in the 27 families which justly refused the low compensation government offered them’. People’s gardens had been destroyed by previous activities by contractors for the proposed airport. Contractors had destroyed crops and not compensated them. Opio appealed to the government to compensate and relocate people before using land for the airport.[6] On 10th October 2017, ahead of a visit to Hoima by Uganda President Museveni and Tanzania President Magufuli, ORRA wrote a letter to the Inspector General of Police stating that they would hold a peaceful demonstration, and be willing to face arrest, to remind the president that oil infrastructure should not be developed at the expense of human rights to fair compensation.[7]. Conflict between farmers and pastoralists: A chapter by Pablo Pereira de Mattos in a book published in 2018: ‘ “I was better off without the oil”: Oil-related displacement in Western Uganda’, draws attention to oil development and evictions leading to changes in use of common land. Respect for common land decreased and people began putting up fences and saying it is private land. One consequence of fencing land was to restrict the movement of grazing cattle, which in turn led to conflict between people.[8] Clashes broke out between farmers and cattle pastoralists on the oil refinery land in February 2018. Cultivators in Kitegwa village accused herdsmen of grazing in their gardens and destroying their crops. A serious fight between farmers and pastoralists left six people injured and at least 10 cows were killed. Seven people were arrested. Similar clashes had occurred in April 2017, in Kitegwa and three other villages.[9].  In April 2018 Hoima Resident District Commissioner John Steven Ekoom said hundreds of animals were hampering airport construction works, blocking the routes of trucks carrying construction materials. Authorities in Hoima ordered the arrest of pastoralists in the oil refinery area. Ekoom said: "I have directed a joint operation between UPDF [Uganda People’s Defense Forces] and Police to arrest any cattle keeper interfering with oil and gas projects, starting tomorrow.”[10] By 3rd May 2018, following a directive by President Museveni, UPDF had taken control of the oil refinery. The previous week security operators had forcibly evicted a group of herdsmen and cultivators following expiry of an ultimatum ordering them to vacate the land. UPDF had deployed a battalion at Nyahaira primary school to avert further encroachment on oil refinery land by herdsmen and cultivators.[11]Unfair compensation and a local resource curse: In January 2018 a group of people affected by the oil refinery project signed for compensation, but expressed regret that the government had used the outdated 2012 compensation rates. Those who had opted for cash compensation in the six years since initiation of the refinery project had, according to Earth Finds, endured ‘untold suffering’. The compensation value, which should have been higher than the value of the land acquired and developments upon it, had not been considered. Moreover, a disturbance allowance of 30 per cent for compulsory land acquisition had never been paid. This allowance would have enabled affected people to build larger accommodation for their extended families. Sandra Atusinguza, a field officer for AFIEGO, called for investigation of non-payment of disturbance allowance, provision of land titles for all relocated families and additional compensation that should have been paid as the land sale was involuntary and caused the loss of cultural facilities. Affected families had 13 churches, a mosque and a market. None of these were in place in the resettlement site, Kyakaboga, where the replacement primary school had still not been handed over. Families had lived less than a year in small government-built houses with leaking ceilings and naked wirings on walls which had already developed cracks. Atusinguza also called for construction of alternative water pipelines from nearby rivers as water from the borehole serving Kyakaboga was hard and salty.[12]. A paper by Tom Ogwang, Frank Vanclay and Arjan van den Assem, ‘Rent-Seeking Practices, Local Resource Curse, and Social Conflict in Uganda’s Emerging Oil Economy’, examines many negative consequences of oil exploitation on local people in the Albertine Graben Region. Research conducted between December 2017 and March 2018 showed that a resource cruse was evident, especially in Kabaale Parish where people were displaced for the refinery and airport. Oil development was negatively affecting other sectors of the economy; there was a marked decline in non-oil activities. Oil development impacts included conflict, food insecurity, corruption, and social polarization, partly due to an influx of people with many different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. Land fragmentation had occurred and many instances of land grabbing came to light during public hearings and testimonies. One example was acquisition of 400 hectares of land by a former Kabaale District surveyor, which he subsequently sold to the Uganda Land Commission for a considerable profit. A number of land owners had benefitted from speculation, reaping huge returns from land sale, whereas project-affected people had not. Many NGOs, cultural, academic and religious institutions had supported affected people in their efforts to receive fair treatment including adequate compensation. The RAP recognised fishing as an importance livelihood, particularly for women and youth, yet there were no plans to develop alternative livelihoods.[13]. Lost livelihoods and a long-delayed court case The Chair of the Oil Refinery Resettlement Committee, Richard Orebi, spoke about resettlement in Kyakaboga costing him and other affected persons their livelihoods. They had asked the government to construct houses on their respective pieces of land. Instead all the houses were crammed together in what officials called a ‘satellite city’, far away from the plots of land allocated for cultivating crops and rearing animals. This ‘absurd’ urban setting had forced him and many other people to sell off his livestock, such goats, pigs and poultry, that previously helped them supplement their meagre incomes.[14]. On 29th March 2019, following delayed hearing of the oil refinery-affected people by the Kampala High Court, Uganda’s Principal Judge, Dr. Yorokamu Bamwine, directed the Land Division of the High Court to fast-track the case. In a letter dated 28th March refinery affected people had informed him that 20 women and 10 children, representing the rights of 7,118 people, would demonstrate, camping at his chambers until the High Court began hearing their case without further delay. They had filed a civil suit in March 2014 seeking the court’s intervention to stop violation of their rights to fair compensation, saying abuse of their rights began in June 2013 with undervaluation of their land.[15]. Lack of jobs for locals in airport construction: Contractors began fending off the site for the airport, re-named Hoima Airport, clearing bush and constructing access roads in early 2018.[16] In February 2018 a crisis meeting between officials, SBC Uganda (the firm contracted to construct the airport) and SCO, a company contracted to build a road, sought to resolve an outcry among locals in the Bunyoro region who said they were being denied jobs. The meeting followed a demonstration by local people who said SBC Uganda had failed to offer them employment opportunities. Reports indicated that over 400 people had applied for jobs at SNC Uganda but were not considered. Locals accused the airport contractor of importing semi and unskilled labour from outside Bunyoro. The meeting agreed that the contractor would reserve at least 30 per cent of jobs for local communities and a database of local suppliers would be formulated to improve opportunities for supplying goods and services.[17] But in April residents claimed that in spite of the intervention they were still being neglected in recruitment offers with SBC Uganda declining to offer them jobs as had been agreed and failing to respond to repeated calls. Residents also accused SBC of failing to construct boreholes at Kitegwa, Kabaale and Nyamasoga villages as had been agreed. Cabinet Minister of Works and Transport, Monica Azuba Ntege, ordered SBC to employ more people from around the Hoima district, and reserve at least 30 per cent of the jobs for host communities. Residents also accused SBC of failing to construct boreholes in the villages of Kabaale, Kitegwa and Nyamasoga that it had promised.[18] Tensions over lack of employment for locals in Hoima Airport flared up again in December 2018. Locals accused SBC Uganda of deliberately locking them out or oil-related jobs while it was considering young people from other parts of the country. A man from Nyamasoga was not given a casual labourer job even though he had received recommendations from local leaders. Another Nyamasoga resident with a truck driving permit applied for a driving job but his application was turned down. There were also claims that SBC Uganda was failing to implement local content policy requirements put in place to enable locals to benefit from the project. SBC Uganda’s Human Resources Manager said the company was committed to ensuring that 30 per cent of its workforce consisted of local people but said the majority of them did not have the required skills and experience. Recently, people from local villages had ambushed company vans transporting SBC workers to the airport construction site, pelting them with stones. Police from the Albertine region intervened and began escorting vans to the site.[19] High security and a workers’ strike: Security at Hoima Airport construction site was ramped up in May 2018; the army and police were brought in to maintain general security and surveillance against theft with day and night patrols. The security resolution followed theft of several jerry cans of fuel at the airport construction site and there were transfers of senior police due to allegations that they gave protection to the fuel thieves.[20]. Police were deployed at Hoima Airport on 16th May 2018 in response to a workers’ strike. Workers protested over claims of illegal dismissal of some of their colleagues, being subjected to a harsh working environment by SBC Uganda management and non-payment of salaries for two months. An Albertine region police spokesperson said the deployment was to bloc workers from destroying airport property.[21] A ‘heavy police deployment’ was reported.[22] Spice FM reported that the striking workers demanding better working conditions accused SBC Uganda management of unfair dismissal and use of abusive language and called for the sacking of the assistance project manager they accused of mistreating them, publishing photographs of a ‘peaceful protest’ by over 250 workers.[23] Hoima Resident District Commissioner John Steven Ekoom clamped down on the striking workers, ordering police to investigate seven people he called “ringleaders” whom he accused of sabotaging the airport project. He also accused the workers of clandestinely mobilizing their colleagues to continue the strike even though their grievances had been addressed following a crisis meeting with SBC Uganda and workers’ representatives. Disregarding rights to free speech he said: “Some of them were even trying to get in touch with the UK Export funders in England on phone about the strike on 15th and 16th May.” Ekoom also demonstrated disregard for alleged strike leaders’ employment rights, saying: “I propose action be taken by suspending all those culprits with immediate effect.”[24].  In September 2018, as construction of oil infrastructure progressed, it became evident that relocation of graves in several villages could delay construction of Hoima Airport. A spokesperson for SBC Uganda, Amos Muriisa, said: “The issue of graves is coming and it’s serious. The affected people were compensated in 2012 and agreed to move to other areas. What they got, maybe, was not enough to enable them relocate the remains of their beloved ones.” Inadequate water supply in the resettlement site, Kyakaboga, continued. People had been informed that piped water would be provided, yet boreholes that had been promised had still not been constructed and all the residents agreed that the existing water reservoirs could not sustain them. A health centre had not yet been constructed so residents had to travel 5 kilometers to access medical care.[25]. Project-affected persons who had opted for resettlement in Kyakaboga continued their attempts to seek legal redress for government failures to restore their previous living conditions. At a hearing held on 4th March 2019, their most recent appearance at Kampala High Court, plaintiffs informed the judge of under-compensation and poor living conditions with small houses in a camp-like settlement, no lighting and limited access to water. Lack of water was one reason for poor sanitation, along with bad smells from pit latrines close to houses. The chairperson of affected residents said eight families had abandoned their houses because of sanitation related issues. In an attempt to expedite the case the judge hearing the case, Lady Justice Cornelia Sabitti, offered to visit refinery affected people in Kyakaboga.[26]. The world’s longest heated oil pipeline In April 2018 government officials painted red crosses on five houses in the Hoima District village of Kyakatemba. The government was set to take about half of the land in the area for the world’s longest heated oil pipeline. A woman standing outside one of the marked houses with her grandchildren said she was unsure whether to plant for the next season as she might be relocated.[27].  The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) is a 1,443 kilometer oil export pipeline being developed to transport oil from Kabaale Industrial Park to the port of Tanga on the coast of Tanzania.[28] In August 2018 it was reported that Kyakatemba residents feared losing land after the government demarcated about half of the land in the area for the pipeline. A farmer, James Mubona, said land feeding his children and grandchildren would be lost and expressed concern about the impact on the economy of the region which is dependent upon farming. Energy ministry spokesperson, Jusuf Masaba, said the pipeline route had been mapped out with plans to compensate and resettle people at an advanced stage and that the government was acquiring farmland, not houses, as there were no settlements in its path.[29]. On 28th May 2019 a coalition of 21 African and international organizations, including AFIEGO,, Inclusive Development International (IDI) and Bank Track, wrote a letter calling on South Africa’s Standard Bank and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (SMBC) to withdraw from their role as lead arrangers for EACOP, advising the Ugandan and Tanzanian governments and arranging USD 2.5 billion in finance loans for completion of the USD3.5 billion project. The letter highlighted risks of the project including displacement of entire communities in the oil extraction zone and pipeline corridor, impacting up to 14,500 farms in the Tanzanian stretch, threats to fresh water sources including Lake Victoria, severe degradation of the habitats of elephants, eastern chimpanzees and lions. The letter also emphasized the climate impacts; the 216,000 barrels of crude oil per day expected to be carried by the pipeline is expected to result in CO2 emissions of more than 33 million tonnes annually, significantly greater than the combined emissions of Uganda and Tanzania.[30]. Feeder pipeline and road to Hoima Airport In January 2019 AFIEGO reported that eight refinery-affected families who were relocated to Kyakaboga faced being displaced again as Total E&P acquired land for feeder pipelines. The people were without land titles and therefore at risk of receiving low compensation. They had been demanding land titles since 2014 and repeated their demands in a letter to the Hoima RDC (Resident District Commissioner).[31]. In April 2019 representatives from AFIEGO, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and other civil society organizations visited a resident of Kigaga A village in Hoima, Mr. Jorum Basiima, who feared that he may be unable to provide food for his children due to construction of a road to Hoima Airport. Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) had imposed a cut-off date for payment of compensation on 2.5 acres of his land. Cut-off dates discourage communities from growing crops because they lose money invested in seeds and cultivation. Mr. Basiima was one of a number of families who were told they should not plant perennial crops after the cut-off date and faced food insecurity as a result of the road project. In his garden holes that had been cut in the ground for planting cassava tubers were empty.[32]

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Petrochemical industrial park in Hoima, Uganda
State or province:Western Region, Uganda
Location of conflict:Buseruka sub-county, Hoima District
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Water access rights and entitlements
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Ports and airport projects
Oil and gas refining
Specific commodities:Crude oil

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The Government of Uganda acquired 2,957 hectares of land in Kabaale Parish for development of Kabaale Industrial Park. Phased development of the petro-based industrial park includes: Uganda’s second international airport, oil refinery, crude oil export pipeline hub, warehousing and logistics, polymer and fertiliser industries, agro-processors and other facilities such as worker housing. A Master Plan for development of the Park was prepared by SMEC International consultants. Implementation of the Master Plan along with development and management has been vested in Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC).[1] Foster Wheeler conducted a feasibility study in 2010.[3]

The Kabaale airport masterplan, completed in April 2016, anticipates that 30,000 tonnes of equipment plus construction materials and consumables will be brought in for the first phase of construction of the oil refinery: 80% delivered by road, 15% by rail and 5% by air. The airport will also transport cargo and personnel.[33] The Ugandan government secured loans, USD318,589,732 from UK Export Finance (UKEF) and USD43,745,979 from Standard Chartered Bank, to finance the development of Kabaale airport. The loan agreement was signed on 7th December 2017.[34]

The UK government stated that the airport, Uganda’s second international airport, will enable work on large-scale energy and infrastructure projects planned in the area. The loan for construction of the airport in Kabaale is the first major project in Uganda to be supported by UKEF and the largest ever UKEF loan to an African government. Standard Chartered acted as lead arranger for the loan deal.[35] Previously, in October 2017, members of Uganda’s parliamentary committee on the national economy questioned the high cost of the loans, which are of a commercial nature. They said that concessional loans, from development finance institutions such as the World Bank, would have offered more generous terms such as a longer repayment period, a longer grace period between the signature of the loan and the first repayment, plus interest rates lower than available on the market. Interest rates of 1.171 per cent for the UKEF loan and 4 per cent for the Standard Chartered Bank loan were reported.[36]

In early 2018 the contractors constructing the airport, Colas UK and SBI International Holdings (the international arm of Israel-based Shikun & Binui), started to clear bush, create access roads for construction traffic and fence off the 29 square kilometer site. Nearly 1 cubic kilometer of gravel had already been moved to build the runway embankment, with a further 6 cubic kilometers to be moved before project completion. It was expected that approximately 13,000 tonnes of bitumen would be imported for surfacing work including the runway with other materials available locally. Upon completion the airport, now named Hoima Airport, with a runway 3.5 kilometers in length and 75 meters wide will be able to accommodate the world’s largest cargo aircraft including Boeing 787-8Fs and Antonov An-124s, which will be utilized to deliver outsize equipment required for construction of the oil refinery and associated oil industry infrastructure. The airport will be supported by 4 kilometers of access roads.[16] The airport apron will have capacity to park four large aircraft with a possibility of further expansion in the future.[37] The major project is under a tight deadline, planning for freighters to begin landing on the runway in 2020, about a year before the terminal is scheduled for completion. Hoima Airport will be owned by the Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda.[16]

SBC (Uganda) Limited, the joint venture between Colas UK and SBI International Holdings constructing Hoima Airport, was incorporated in the UK on 23rd March 2016.[38] In April 2019 SBC Uganda Limited reported that works were 21% complete. Civil Aviation Authority manager of public affairs Vianney Luggya said: “The first phase of construction, including the runway and cargo-handling facilities, is expected to be ready around 2020. This phase is primarily to support construction of the oil refinery.”[37] By June 2019 earthworks for the airport had involved excavating and compacting soil up to 27 meters from the ground to provide a firm foundation for the runway. The first phase of airport operations will specifically support construction of the oil refinery. Civil Aviation Authority manager Vianney Luggya said: “In 2022, the second phase of construction shall be delivered. This phase emphasizes on the facilitation of passengers. It shall therefore boost tourism and business especially in the agricultural sector.”[39]

The contract with Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium (AGRC) for construction of the USD4 billion oil refinery, called Uganda Oil Refinery, was signed by the Ugandan government in April 2018.[40] The AGRC proposal for the 60,000 barrels per day Kabaale oil refinery configuration was approved in March 2019. The consortium comprises YAATRA Africa, LionWorks Group and Baker Hughes General Electric (BHGE) and is supported by Saipem Spa as a service provider.[41] Also in March 2019 a technical proposal for the oil refinery, developed by Saipem Spa, was granted formal approval by the government.[42] The planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), the world’s longest heated pipeline, an export pipeline extending 1,443 kilometers from Kabaale Industrial Park to the port of Tanga in Tanzania, is projected to require an investment of USD3.5 billion. At peak production the pipeline is expected to carry 216,000 barrels per day.[28] In May 2019 the government presented a proposal seeking to borrow USD456,378,107 for upgrade and construction of national oil roads within the Albertine Graben. China Exim Bank is expected to cover 85% of the commercial contract for each package with the government financing 15%. The roads were earmarked as key access roads required for constructing EACOP and the oil refinery in Hoima. The project will be implemented by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).[43]

Project area:2,957
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:7,118
Start of the conflict:01/01/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) from Uganda - Operator and manager of Kabaale (Hoima) Industrial Park
SBI International Holdings AG (Uganda) from Uganda - Awarded contract to construct Hoima Airport in February 2018, joint venture with Colas UK: SBC Uganda
Colas UK from United Kingdom - Awarded contract to construct Hoima Airport in February 2018, joint venture with SBI International Holdings AG (Uganda): SBC Uganda
Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium (AGRC)
Strategic Friends International (SFI) from Uganda - Contracted by Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) in 2012 to implement a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for persons affected by the acquisition of land for Hoima oil refinery
Foster Wheeler from Switzerland - Conducted feasibility study for Hoima oil Refinery, report released in 2010
Newplan from Uganda - Development of Master Plan and Eenvironmental and Social Impact Statement for Hoima Airport (published March 2016).
Ramboll - Development of Master Plan and Environmental and Social Impact Statement for Hoima Arport (published March 2016).
SBC Uganda - Awarded contract to construct Hoima Airport in February 2018
SMEC from Australia - Engaged by Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development of Uganda to develop a Master Plan for Oil and Gas Industrial Park in Kabaale, October 2016
Saipem from Italy
Relevant government actors:Government of Uganda
Civil Aviation Authority - Uganda
National Physical Planning Board
Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF)
International and Finance InstitutionsUK Export Finance (UKEF) from United Kingdom - USD318,589,732 loan to Uganda government to help finance Hoima Airport. Loan agreement signed on 7th December 2017.
Standard Chartered Bank from United Kingdom - Lead arranger for joint UK Export Finance (UKEF) / Standard Chartered Bank loan to finance Hoima Airport. Loan agreement signed on 7th December 2017. USD43,745,979 loan to Ugandan government to help finance Hoima Airport.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:African Energy Institute for Governance (AFIEGO) -
Oil Refinery Residents Association (ORRA)
Oil Refinery Resettlement Committee
Global Rights Alert (GRA) -
Enanga -
National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) -
Albertine Watchdog -

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Industrial workers
Social movements
Fisher people
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Development of a network/collective action
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Public campaigns
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Street protest/marches
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Refusal of compensation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Land occupation


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Oil spills, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Infectious diseases, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsIllnesses caused by pollutants emitted by aircraft
Illnesses caused by lack of access to clean water
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in violence and crime, Violations of human rights
Other socio-economic impactsConflict between farmers and pastoralists
Loss of fishing livelihoods


Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:7,118 people were displaced for Kabaale Industrial Park and struggles for fair compensation and resettlement continue.

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)


Report on the Environmental, Social and Human Rights Review and Alignment with International Standards, Kabaale International Airport Project, Uganda, UK Export Finance (UKEF) Environmental Advisory Unit, July 2017

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[13] Tom Ogwang, Frank Vanclay and Arjan van den Assem, ‘Rent-Seeking Practices, Local Resource Curse, and Social Conflict in Uganda’s Emerging Oil Economy’, Land, 27 March 2019

[5] Miriam Kyomugasho, Oil Industry in Uganda: The Socio-economic Effects on the People of Kabaale Village, Hoima, and Bunyoro Region in Uganda (2016). Syracuse University, August 2016

[8] Pablo Pereira de Mattos, (2018), ‘ “I was better off without the oil”: Oil-related displacement in Western Uganda’, pp167-191, chapter in: Jan Kühnemund, Laura Tommila, Exploring Intervention: Displacement, Cultural Practices and Social Knowledge in Uganda, Cambridge Scholars Publishing

[4] Aerotropolis Update, No.3, May 2016, Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement (GAAM)


[10] Pastoralists in Oil Refinery Area Face Arrest, Kampala Post, 24 April 2018

[11] UPDF evicts herdsmen off oil refinery land, Capital FM, 3 May 2018

[12] Why has government failed to meet all its commitments under the oil refinery project?, EARTHFINDS, 23 February 2018

[14] Oil refinery resettlement has cost us our livelihoods, The Observer, 21 March 2018

[15] Refinery affected persons threaten to strike, EABW,

[16] Uganda’s new airport rising from the bush, African Aerospace Online News Service, 14 February 2019

[17] 30 percent Of Oil Airport Jobs To Go To Locals In Hoima, Earth Finds, 23 February 2018

[18] Hoima Residents Say Oil Airport Contractor Denied Them Jobs, Earth Finds, 14 April 2018

[19] Hoima residents demand for ‘oil jobs’, Oil in Uganda, 5 December 2018

[20] Army, Police to Guard Hoima International Airport Construction Site, Kampala Post, 9 May 2018

[21] Hoima International Airport workers strike over pay, The Observer, 16 May 2018

[22] Hoima Airport Staff Go On Strike Over Pay, Red Pepper, 15 May 2018

[23] Spiecefm Hoima, 15 May 2018

[24] RDC Orders Investigation of Hoima International Airport Strike Ringleaders, Kampala Post, 22 May 2018

[26] Judge To Expedite Delayed Kyakaboga Refinery PAPs Case, Earth Finds, 21 April 2019

[27] Marked for demolition? Ugandans on pipeline route fear land loss, Place, 15 August 2018

[28] EACOP - East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline

[29] Residents in Kyakatemba village in fear of land loss as Ugandan pipeline construction due to commence, Ugnada Oil, 22 August 2018

[37] Kabaale Airport works at 21%, Daily Monitor, 23 April 2019

[38] SBC (UGANDA) LIMITED, Companies House

[42] Saipem Clears Hurdle for Uganda Refinery, RIGZONE, 12 March 2019

[35] Colas UK to help build Ugandan airport with UKEF support, GOV.UK, 11 December 2017

[36] African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), 4 October 2017

[40] Govt signs $4bn Hoima oil refinery agreement, The Observer, 11 April 2018

[43] Gov’t to borrow UGX1.7Trn to fund Oil Roads, PML Daily, 16 May 2019

[32] Compulsory land acquisition: cut- off dates should be time-bound, New Vision, 17 April 2019

[41] Uganda approves AGRC consoritum proposal for refinery configuration, Oil Review Africa, 13 March 2019

[1] Kabaale Industrial Park, Uganda National Oil Company(UNOC),

[2] Ministry releases oil refinery map, New Vision, 7 September 2012

[39] Construction in advancing stages at Hoima International Airport, Guide2Uganda, 6 June 2019

[3] Oil exploration: Govt releases Bunyoro map, New Vision, 5 September 2012

[7] Over 200 Oil Refinery Affected people have volunteered to get arrested today for demonstrating against government delayed compensation., 19 October 2017

[30] International call on banks: Don’t finance the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, Inclusive Development International (IDI), 28 May 2019

[31] The ENERGIZER, African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), January 2019

[33] Kabaale Airport master plan ready for take off, New Vision, 2 April 2016

[34] REPORT ON PUBLIC DEBT, GUARANTEES, OTHER FINANCIAL LIABILITIES AND GRANTS FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 2017/18, Presented to Parliament by Hon. Matia Kasaija, Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, March 2018

[6] Your mail: Govt shouldn’t use refinery land before compensating us, The Observer, 19 May 2017

[25] Mixed feelings as construction of oil infrastructure progresses, Daily Monitor, 28 September 2018

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Oil Refinery and Compensation in Uganda: The Story of Rhodah, EnangaObserve, 11 November 2014

Hoima, Uganda: Our Land, Our Life, EnangaObserve, 1 May 2015

Graveyards slow Airport construction, NTV Uganda, 19 August 2018

Hoima Airport Construction Stalls Over Land Row, Next Media Uganda, 28 September 2018

Uganda’s oil boom, FRANCE 24 English, 7 February 2018

Transboundary Observatory - UGANDA: Oil Refinery ENG SUBIUCNLL, 12 September 2013

Hoima Community film, Nape Uganda, 24 June 2014

Oil refinery and compensation in Hoima,Uganda final2HZ, AFIEGO Uganda, 21 July 2014

Hoima Airport contractor SBC Uganda urged to hire local residents, NTV Uganda, 2 March 2018


Hoima Leaders Denounce Weak Environmental Law, NBS TV Uganda, 29 Jan 2017

Meta information

Contributor:Rose Bridger, Stay Grounded, email: [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019



Draft Hoima oil refinery map

Draft map released by energy ministry in September 2012 showing area earmarked for oil refinery and listing 13 affected villages. Source: New Vision

Hoima industrial park graphic

Graphic impression of Hoima industrial park showing investment opportunities. Source: Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC)

Residents demand compensation

Hoima residents affected by the refinery demand adequate and timely compensation, May 2016. Photo: Francis Mugerwa / Daily Monito. Source: OXFAM

Hoima Airport major works

Diagrams illustrating major works scheduled for December 2017 for Hoima Airport. Source: SBI International Holdings AG (Uganda)

Evicted for Hoima Airport

Christop Opiyo points at where his house used to be in Kabaale village before evictions for Hoima Airport, July 2018. Photo: TRF/Kevin Mwanza (Reuters) Source:

Land cleared for Hoima Airport

Farmland cleared for construction of Hoima Airport, November 2018. Photo: Construction News

Hoima Airport and refinery boundary

Satellite image showing boundary of Hoima Airport and industrial park, 2017. Source: Global Anti-Aerotropolis Movement (GAAM)

Pastoralists arrested

Authorities in Hoima arrested pastoralists in oil refinery area, April 2018. Source: Kampala Post

Hoima affected people

Hoima refinery affected people threaten to strike over delays to court hearing, 2018. Source:

PAPs at case hearing

Refinery PAPs (project affected persons) during case hearing at Kampala High Court, April 2019. Source:

Hoima Airport construction site

Source: The Construction Index, September 2018

Uganda oil development map

Map of oil development in Albertine Graben region, showing the planned Kabaale petrochemical and industrial park in yellow and pipelines including EACOP. Source: Petroleum Authority of Uganda (2019)

Hoima Airport workers protest

In May 2018 over 250 Hoima Airport construction site workers protested over poor working conditions. Source:

Hoima Airport takes shape

February 2019, construction of Hoima Airport is underway. Photo: African Aerospace

East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) route

The oil export pipeline route is 1,443 kilometres in length, extending from the petrochemical and industrial park in Kabaale through Tanzania to the port of Tanga. Source: EACOP