TANZANIA is preparing an official statement to be presented to the European Union Parliament for clarification on the implementation of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
The move comes after the EU Parliament on Thursday last week adopted a resolution seeking to force Uganda, Tanzania and the Total Energies SE to delay the project, terming it as a setback to socioeconomic progress of both Tanzania and Uganda.
They also called on the governments of Uganda and Tanzania to initiate concrete measures to ensure that authorities, security forces and policies respect and comply with human rights standards.
Already, the two governments have responded to the resolution, maintaining that the project worth over 8tri/-, has adhered to all the procedures and that neither human rights nor socioeconomic progress have been violated by the project.
Apart from the clarification that was made public by the Minister for Energy January Makamba, the government is now looking forward to clarifying the matter in the EU Parliament.
Speaking to a local television station on Monday, Tanzania’s Ambassador to Belgium, Jestas Nyamanga said the embassy will submit to the EU an official statement that clarifies execution of the whole project that covers 1,443kms from Hoima (Uganda) to Chongoleani, Tanga in Tanzania.
“The EU Parliament was misinformed on some of the facts that made them reach such a resolution, we shall clarify all the issues to them,” he said.
In its resolution, the EU legislature pointed out that nearly 118 000 people are affected by their homes being destroyed to facilitate the construction of access roads or the processing plant.
The resolution explains further that other people have had all or part of their land requisitioned and have lost the free use of their properties.
However, Amb Nyamanga who is also accredited to the EU Commission said the project affected only 331 Tanzanian households who are in different stages of being compensated with new houses.
Moreover, the Tanzania and Uganda diplomatic missions to Belgium are also arranging a joint meeting with EU parliamentarians.
“We shall have a face to face meeting with EU parliamentarians who are not conversant enough with the project, we hope for the best part that they will understand upon getting the official clarification from us,” noted the diplomat.
The envoy went on to explain that they have held discussions with other EU institutions on the matter and that the latter have shown positive response in contrast to the resolution.
Last week, the Minister for Energy January Makamba said Tanzania has adhered to all the procedures to ensure all the rights are protected accordingly.
He said to ensure effective observation of human rights, the government paid compensation to all households who were supposed to vacate their premises to pave way for the project and that there was no use of force during the exercise as stated in the EU resolution.
On implementing the project, the government through Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) set aside a budget of 25bn/- for compensating those who were to vacate their premises in favour of the project.
“We have paid compensation to those who deserved it, no one was forced to leave their premises or arrested. Also, the overall pipeline route has been designed to minimize environmental and social impacts,” he said.
Moreover, by March this year, the government had paid 80 million US dollars (equivalent to 186bn/-), out of the 308 million US dollars (around 716.7bn/-) to be paid by Tanzania as its contribution to the project.
Out of the 1,443kms of the project, 296km are within Uganda and 1,147km within Tanzania. The pipeline will pass through eight regions of Kagera, Geita, Shinyanga, Tabora, Singida, Dodoma, Manyara and Tanga, covering 24 districts, 134 wards and 224 villages