A recent visit to Uganda highlighted the country as the latest example of ethical, environmental and human rights dilemmas brought forth by natural resource exploration.
Under the guise of economic prosperity and energy security, the future of Uganda’s forests, lakes, national parks, and by extension that of the people that depend on these resources, is increasingly endangered. Both ENDS partners in Uganda work with local communities to preserve these natural environments and the livelihoods that come from it.
Uganda is one of many countries where the situation for environmental organisations has significantly deteriorated. Both ENDS has taken steps to develop a more systematic and proactive approach to supporting partners in addressing safety and security issues. In 2022 we successfully mobilised resources to support six Ugandan organisations to strengthen collaboration, increase their visibility, and carry out joint advocacy towards a green and sustainable future.
Utrecht/Amsterdam, 27 September 2022 - On Wednesday 28 September, Dutch civil society organisations will organise a protest at the offices of oil giant TotalEnergies in The Hague, drawing attention to the problems surrounding the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) in Uganda. They are calling on investors to get out of TotalEnergies because of this project, which is causing human rights violations and serious environmental pollution. Two weeks ago the European Parliament passed a resolution against the human rights violations linked to EACOP.
A coalition of 13 Dutch organisations calls on investors like banks, pension funds and insurers to divest from TotalEnergies because of its EACOP project in Uganda and Tanzania. This new pipeline is causing human rights abuses, increased poverty, environmental pollution and climate change, and also TotalEnergies is using loopholes in the tax system to avoid taxes.
The letters has been send, among others, to the banks ABN AMRO, ING and Van Lanschot Kempen, pension funds ABP, BPL, PFZW, PMT and PNO media and the insurers Aegon, Allianz and Nationale Nederlanden. Together, the Dutch investors own shares and obligations worth more than 2.1 billion euros.
Despite the existence of many hydropower dams, foreign investments and large government spending on energy, and new plans for hydropower, oil and gas projects, the vast majority of rural Uganda still remains without electricity. Together with our local partners we are striving towards a sustainable energy strategy for Uganda that starts from the needs and wishes of local communities.
and Abigail Kyomuhendo*
This week the annual shareholder meeting (AGM) of TotalEnergies took place. Whilst the shareholders celebrated their profits, Ugandan people were being evicted from their lands, thousands of kilometers away, for Total's East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Minister Liesje Schreinemacher for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation recently made her first working visit, to Kenya and Uganda. With this visit, the minister made a flying start in honouring the pledge in the new government's coalition agreement to formulate a 'targeted Dutch Africa strategy'. Such a strategy is desperately needed as, too often, our foreign trade is conducted at the expense of people and the environment, including in countries in Africa. The new strategy presents a perfect opportunity to ensure that the 'trade and aid' agendas are closely aligned.