Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Now You Can Book Entire Dolphin Suites Hotel For A Day In Latest Offer

Do you have an event, a party, a milestone to you want to celebrate and you want a full package of venue, food and drinks and accommodation, Dolphin Suites Hotel in Bugolobi is offering itself to you and your guests for a day’s booking.

The lavish Bugolobi based Dolphin Suites has revealed a friendly offer of Shs4mper day to all its customers willing to book the entire hotel. "Yes, it's true, you can have us out of the suites for a full day. We are getting booked so fast, hurry while we still last," the hotel posted on its social media pages.

The hotel which is part of the Speke Group of Hotels is a unique boutique-style hotel offering 27 luxurious and comfortable guest rooms with individual balconies overlooking the hillside of Bugolobi and the city of Kampala. An ideal choice for those who want a quiet stay, close to the business and corporate houses.

The hotel located Bugolobi, Princess Anne Drive, 5 KM from the city Centre and 35 KM north from the Entebbe International Airport, the hotel is 500m from Village Mall Bugolobi and this offer shopping opportunities to all travellers

It is a perfect ambience that will ensure value for money on the guest’s part. Henceforth, Dolphin Suites has established itself as the epitome of relaxed grandeur, welcoming visitors to the city with stunningly appointed rooms and a host of facilities.

Members, residents and guests can also take time out to relax and de-stress with a little pampering. We offer an array of beauty and relaxation treatments for members to enjoy from a massage to ease any worries away, to a relaxing facial or an invigorating body exfoliation treatment.

The hotel also has an excellent bar, restaurant and outstanding banqueting facilities where one may relax, meet friends or even discuss business.

Land Acquisition For Oil And Gas Projects: Project Affected Persons Will Be Adequately Compensated

By Ali Ssekatawa

The oil and gas sector in Uganda is at a critical stage.  The commercial negotiations which will impact both the profitability and the sector’s contribution to inclusive development are in the final stages.  The infrastructure required to commercially produce the Country’s 6 billion barrels of oil and gas resources has been clearly defined.  This includes the precise location for the various infrastructure.

This infrastructure includes well pads and flowlines, crude oil pipelines, central processing facilities, a refinery, base camps and access roads, among others. These facilities are being set up for four key projects; the Tilenga and Kingfisher projects (for development of the fields and production of the crude oil) together with the Refinery and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline projects (the commercialization projects).

Since Uganda’s oil and gas resources are onshore, the above facilities will be developed on private land acquired from the communities. Additionally, some of the required land belongs to government entities. The said land is acquired after prior, fair and adequate consent and/or compensation of the communities affected.

The halt in field activities for land acquisition for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project (and likewise for the Kingfisher and Tilenga projects) as a result of scaling down of project-related activities and later the COVID-19 pandemic has caused anxiety among the Project Affected Persons (PAPs). 

In addition, false reports wrongly state that PAPs have been stopped from using their land while others have been forcefully evicted without compensation.  There have also been allegations that the PAPs were made to sign compensation forms without adequate information.

The Petroleum Authority of Uganda acknowledges the delay in the compensation process; however, no PAP has been evicted or stopped from using their land as has been portrayed.

The 1,443km EACOP will transport Uganda’s crude oil from Kabaale in Hoima district to Tanga in Tanzania, for export to the international market.

It will be buried to a depth of about 1 metre below the ground for all its length. In Uganda, the EACOP will cover 296km, through ten (10) districts (Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo, Kyotera and Rakai). 

The EACOP will be laid in a 30 metres corridor and the land for this has already been identified by Government. The Kingfisher project covers Kikuube and Hoima districts, whereas the Tilenga project covers Buliisa and Nwoya Districts. 

All the PAPs for the projects have been identified, and the affected property assessed and valued.   During the assessment and evaluation exercise, all PAPs (and their spouses) are required to sign on their assessment forms to confirm that what has been captured is indeed what has been taken stock of by the valuers and assessors.

This is done in the presence of local leaders, district leaders, Government representatives including staff of PAU. There is always a translator from the community who interprets the information in the local language to the PAPs. All PAPs are given a copy of the assessment form. 

The information captured is then compiled into a Valuation Report that states the compensation award for each PAP.  Compensation rates for crops and structures are determined by the District Land Boards while land rates are determined based on market value. All these are based on prevailing market rates for the financial year in question.

The PAPs will be compensated as per the valuation reports approved by the Chief Government Valuer (CGV), Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. On approval of the Valuation reports, the compensation amounts are individually disclosed to the PAPs in the presence of their spouses.

A cutoff date is announced after taking stock of affected land and properties. The announcement is meant to inform PAPs that any and all improvements made on the land following that period would not be eligible for compensation. A cut off date is essential for any project to progress from assessment to actual compensation.

Following the assessment exercise, the PAPs were advised to continue with the cultivation of seasonal crops, but any new permanent structures or long-term crops would not be compensated.  The PAPs would also be allowed to harvest all their crops and salvage any materials after compensation. Each PAP is aware of the boundaries of the project land and as such free to utilize the land outside the project footprint as he/she wishes.

The PAPs are only required to vacate project land following receipt of full compensation for said land. Currently, the only PAPs that have been requested to vacate project land are those in Tilenga Development Project RAP 1 and Kingfisher Development Area (KFDA) RAP 1 both of whom have been fully compensated and their resettlement houses completed.

All PAPs that have not been compensated remain in possession of their land and are free to keep utilizing it, within limits. Several livelihood restoration programmes in agriculture, business, financial literacy and skilling are also implemented as part of the package to support PAPs transition.

The PAPs are therefore allowed to utilize their land post-cut-off date announcement with the understanding that new developments will not be compensated, but crops can be harvested and any materials salvaged. All land surrounding and outside the project area is however not affected by the cut off dates.

It is therefore prudent to note that nobody has been evicted from their land.  After compensation, a notice to vacate will be issued with timelines within which the affected persons must move/ relocate from the project land. The PAPs are therefore encouraged to continue using their land as the process for compensation is fast-tracked by Government.

The delays occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges such as absentee landlords are regrettable;   Preparations are in high gear to resume the compensation processes within a month’s time subject to the Ministry of Health Standard operating procedures. The PAU will ensure that all PAPs are promptly, fairly and adequately compensated

Ali Ssekatawa is the Director Legal and Corporate Affairs at Petroleum Authority Uganda.

OPINION: Oil & Gas Graduates Should Be Creative

By Paul Kato

The media recently reported about oil and gas graduates petitioning the parliament over unemployment yet they are supposed to be creative.

Since 2014 over 500 graduates have graduated and only 50 graduates are employed in the oil and gas sector. This means that many of them are jobless.

Graduates need to be creative because oil and gas jobs sector is not going to be enough for graduates trained in oil and gas-related courses.

The oil and gas is expected to provide only 190,000 jobs to the graduates, therefore, people need to be creative because the jobs are not going to be enough for them.

In addition to that, the graduates should think beyond outside the box because oil and gas is expected to be extracted for a few years. This means that they need to see oil at the smaller picture.

Ugandans should learn from the COVID-19 pandemic period because many people who were working in the offices resorted to other sectors agricultural sector for survival.

For instance, people started piggery projects, poultry and planting perennial crops like banana and coffee which requires less labour.

Therefore graduates need to be creative if not, many graduates are going to be at risk of unemployment. They will also put their brains and resources to waste.

It should be noted that oil and gas in Uganda was meant to improve infrastructures like roads, schools and hospitals, projects would are supposed to provide jobs to Ugandan.

Graduates need to know that the oil and gas project is not going to satisfy all people’s needs, especially employment because from 2014 to 2020 only 50 graduates have been employed in the sector.

Therefore, I call upon government agencies like the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), local governments and local leaders to sensitize the public about local content.

Paul Kato is a research associate at Kikuube Youth Development Forum

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Kadaga Tasks Minister Jeje Odongo To Explain Police Attack On Rajiv Ruparelia

The Speaker of Parliament Alitwala Rebecca Kadaga during Wednesday afternoon plenary sitting summoned the Minister of Internal Affairs Gen Jeje Odongo to present a report to the house concerning investigations about police officers who allegedly assaulted Rajiv Ruparelia, the Managing Director of Ruparelia Group.

According to Daily Monitor, Rajiv’s matter was brought to the attention of the House by Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa who said there was need for Jeje Odongo to brief the country on what action the police force had taken against officers who allegedly attacked the youthful businessman.

“Last week we heard about the people who wanted to kidnap Mr Rajiv Ruparelia when he was walking but was only saved by his dogs. We have been waiting for the Minister of Internal Affairs to tell us who those people because in the videos we saw they were dressed in police uniform,” Daily Monitor quotes Okupa.

The Speaker said the country needs an update about the people who attacked Rajiv, the only son of arguably Uganda’s richest man, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia. “I ask the Minister of Internal Affairs to come here and give an update on the issue of the people who attacked Mr Rajiv,” Ms Kadaga ruled without giving a specific date.

Gen Odongo and his Junior Minister, Mario Obiga Kania were not in the House to give instant response to the matter raised on the floor.

Last week, Rajiv alleged that when he was walking his dogs in the neighbourhood, he stopped a speeding vehicle to inquire why the driver was acting recklessly. He said it turned out that the people travelling in the van were policemen.

“An officer angrily said to me that this is not India. This is Uganda. Immediately when the dogs realised that I was being beaten by the officers they tried to save me. This was a racial attack," Rajiv said.

Kampala Metropolitan Police Deputy Spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire, said on Friday that as the cops listened to Mr Ruparelia, who had stopped their car, he set his dogs at them.

“The preliminary information we have is two-sided and we can’t make conclusions. I can’t deny that our officers abused him nor can I deny that the officers were acting in self-defence. We will conclude when we interview the two parties,” Owoyesigyire said.

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