Right Livelihood calls for end to EACOP construction amidst human rights concerns
During the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Right Livelihood called on Uganda to stop the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) that is stripping Ugandans of their right to a clean, healthy environment. 2022 Right Livelihood Laureate AFIEGO is at the forefront of efforts to stop EACOP.
You can read the full statement here.
Since Uganda’s commercial oil reserves were discovered in 2006, the government has increasingly engaged in land grabs, illegal displacement and environmental degradation. These concerning trends have been especially prevalent since the construction of EACOP began in 2017.
The pipeline, intended to transport Uganda’s crude oil to a port in Tanzania, is estimated to displace over 100,000 people with devastating consequences for local ecosystems and livelihoods.
In our statement, we informed the Council about the situation of communities already displaced by EACOP. In many cases, families have been forcefully evicted and poorly compensated, leading them to experience food insecurity and take on household debt.
Immediate, decisive action is needed to amend this situation, Right Livelihood told the Council. Uganda and all relevant stakeholders must stop the construction of EACOP and related extractive activities and provide fair compensation to affected communities.
Those who dare to protest against extractive projects have also suffered greatly. Activists and civil society organisations are routinely harassed, and in some cases, arbitrarily arrested. Both of these tactics are intended to repress opposition and instil fear.
Just days before our statement, four students from Fridays for Future Uganda, a branch of the climate action organisation founded by 2019 Right Livelihood Laureate Greta Thunberg, were arrested for protesting EACOP. They are being held in a maximum security prison.
In light of these injustices, and many others throughout the country, Right Livelihood called on Uganda to immediately end the legal harassment of environmental defenders and to stop the misuse of police bonds, as well as arbitrary arrests and detentions.