Impact Assessment Uganda’s EACOP Oil Pipeline


    Uganda’s pipeline


    Uganda’s parliament has approved the controversial bill authorizing the construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) that will run 1.445 km from Uganda to Tanzania. The pipeline will cut through high-biodiversity areas and displace thousands of people. It is highly likely that it will worsen the devastating impacts of global warming that Uganda is already experiencing. 

    KJ-1 It is highly likely that the number of displaced people that find themselves on the route of the pipeline will increase in the next 36 months.

    • On December 9 Uganda’s Parliament passed a bill approving the construction of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). Construction will now begin according to the agreement signed between the French oil giant Total Energies and the Ugandan government. [source]
    • The $3.5 billion oil pipeline will run 1.445 km from Uganda’s Lake Mwitanzige to the Indian Ocean port of Tonga in Tanzania. The first of a potential of 1.4 billion barrels will be pumped out in 2025. [source]
    • Total Energies has purchased a huge section of more than 300 hectares of what was previously grazing land, in order to enable the construction of the pipeline. This purchase has already affected more than 600 people. Only 60% of them have been fully compensated. [source]
    • Allegations of intimidation, inadequate compensation and late payment followed the EACOP project’s purchase of land. Grazing land represented for many families their only source of income. People declare that their sense of independence has been taken away from them. [source]
    • The EACOP project declared that the construction of the pipeline will affect only 4.000 people. However, according to NGOs reports, at least 12.000 families will lose their land. [source]

    KJ-2 It is highly likely that the threat to wildlife due to the construction of the pipeline will increase in the next 36 months.

    • When the project is completed, the pipeline will transport crude oil from more than 130 wells inside Uganda’s largest national park. This protected area is home to endangered species. [source]
    • Moreover, the pipeline’s route will impact more than 2.000 km2 of protected areas sheltering endangered species, such as eastern chimpanzees and African savanna elephants. [source]
    • Experts worry that the construction of the pipeline will jeopardize these biodiversity areas, especially in the absence of a mitigation plan. [source]
    African Savanna Elephants

    KJ-3 It is highly likely that carbon emissions will increase dramatically when oil will start to be pumped out. 

    • Right now Uganda accounts for only the 0.01% of total global carbon emissions. This is because Uganda’s fossil fuel consumption is very low. [source]
    • This is expected to change when oil will start to be pumped out. The crude oil will require a heating above 50 C° to flow.  Therefore, heating stations and high voltage line will be built along the 1.445 km pipeline. [source]
    • Climate experts say that the oil transported will emit at least 33 million tonnes of Co2 every year. This will be significantly greater than the current combined emissions of both Uganda and Tanzania. [source]
    • In Uganda, climate change is already costing lives due to flash floods and landslides that kill people and destroy public infrastructure. This is why climate experts worry about EACOP project. [source]
    Flash floods in May 2020 when the banks of the Nyamwamba and Mubuk rivers burst

    Arianna Sparviero
    Arianna Sparviero
    Arianna Sparviero is a graduate student at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. She is currently enrolled in the first year of the master course in International Affairs.

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