In 2006, the British company Tullow Oil discovered oil reserves in the Albertine Region of northwestern Uganda, with 6.5 billion recoverable barrels. At the beginning of 2022, the French oil company Total secured an agreement with the governments of Tanzania and Uganda and the Chinese state company CNOOC to start constructing the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The project will create the largest oil heated pipeline covering 1,443 kilometres between Hoima in Uganda and Tanga in Tanzania, from where the crude oil will be exported.
The oil will affect 20.000 squared kilometres of wildlife reserved: oil will be mainly drilled at the Tilenga site inside the Murchison Falls National Park, where the last populations of Rothschild giraffes live and be transported to Kabaale, where the start of the EACOP pipeline will cross in between the tropical forests of Bugoma and Wambabya, cutting corridors of endangered chimpanzee species. At the end of its route, the pipeline will end at the borders of Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park, where mangrove forests will be decimated for the construction of the new terminal and the African coral reef will be affected.
EACOP has been strongly confronted by local activists and environmental organizations have express serious concerns as it endangers the fight against climate change and breaches the international Paris Agreements with an estimated production of 34 million tons of CO2, twice as much as Uganda and Tanzania's emissions as of 2021 combined.
The story portrays the ecosystems that are in danger in Uganda and Tanzania, as well as the local communities directly impacted in a world where global warming is a reality while the planet's energy needs continue to increase.
© Pablo Garrigós Cucarella
- Uganda: Pipeline politics pits jobs and profits against homes and land, The Africa Report, 31/10/2022
- EACOP: Whose land is it? The Africa Report, 07/11/2022
- Un nuevo oleoducto de 1.443 kilómetros de Uganda a Tanzania: África defiende su derecho a contaminar, El Pais, 09/11/2022
- Un oleoducto atraviesa el corazón de Africa, El Pais, 10/11/2022
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