The Deputy Speaker of Parliament has slammed climate change and environment activists for fueling efforts to disrupt oil and gas exploration in Uganda.
‘‘As the August House, we are very much concerned over the so-called activists who are trying to frustrate the developments of the oil sector. We have done our part and we want to use this oil to develop our people,” Mr Thomas Tayebwa said.
Addressing several people at a belated Women’s Day celebration in Kakumiro District, Mr Tayebwa told off activists emphasizing that “government followed international standards in impact assessment.”
In April last year, an alliance of over 260 African and international environmental and human rights organizations claimed another win in their campaign to stop the construction of the oil pipeline.
Several banking institutions threatened to withdraw from financing the multibillion dollar project over climate change and environment related threats.
Asked whether government is not bothered by such threats, Mr Tayebwa said: ‘‘No one will succeed in that because if these people say they don’t want to fund it, we shall mobilize money locally.”
He added: “We have mobilized money for the Parish Development Model (PDM) and other projects. Oil is an investment. If they (financiers) fail, we shall invest as a government. No one should think that they can use their money to bulldoze us from developing our projects,’’ Mr Tayebwa remarked.
Petroleum Authority of Uganda executive director, Mr Ernest Rubondo said that oil will be used in a manner that minimizes the risks of carbon emissions.
‘‘Uganda’s oil and gas sector is being taken forward in a manner that reduces the negative impact on the environment. For example, the gas from the oil fields will not be flared- neither will it be used only for electricity generation but for production of cleaner Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). There are also plans to use solar energy in oil and gas activities like heating for aspects of the EACOP,’’ Rubondo told journalists on May 20.
Meanwhile, Mr Tayebwa joined Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja as the leaders commissioned the construction of the Kakumiro District ruling NRM party house.
Over Shs300 million was raised during a local fundraising to support the construction works.