OEGANDA/TANZANIA - In 2006, British company Tullow Oil discovered oil reserves in the Albertine region in northwestern Uganda, with 6.5 billion recoverable barrels. In early 2022, French oil company Total signed an agreement with the governments of Tanzania and Uganda and Chinese state-owned company CNOOC to begin construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The project will build the largest pipeline of 1,443 kilometres between Hoima in Uganda and Tanga in Tanzania, from where crude oil will be exported.

The oil will damage 20,000 square kilometres of wildlife: it will be tapped mainly in Tilenga, in Murchison Falls National Park, where the last populations of Rothschild giraffes live, and transported to Kabaale, where the start of the EACOP pipeline crosses between the tropical forests of Bugoma and Wambabya, cutting off corridors of endangered chimpanzee species. At the end of the route, the pipeline will end at the borders of the Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park, where mangrove forests will be decimated for the construction of the new terminal and African coral reefs will be affected.
EACOP has been hotly contested by local activists and environmental organisations have expressed serious concerns that it jeopardises the fight against climate change and violates international Paris agreements with an estimated production of 34 million tonnes of CO2, twice as much as Uganda and Tanzania's emissions from 2021 combined.
This story portrays ecosystems at risk in Uganda and Tanzania, as well as local communities directly affected in a world where global warming is a reality while the planet's energy needs continue to grow.

Team members

Pablo Garrigós Cucarella

Pablo Garrigós is a Belgian-Spanish journalist.

Pablo Garrigós Cucarella

Soraya Aybar

Soraya Aybar is a journalist and political scientist based in Madrid, Spain.

Soraya Aybar

Halima Athumani

Halima Athumani is a digital and broadcast journalist based in Kampala.

Halima Athumani

David Soler Crespo

David Soler Crespo is a Spanish freelance journalist.

€ 10.000 allocated on 28/06/2022.

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