News / 15 October 2014

Fair compensation for mandatory relocation with aid of partners Both ENDS

Large-scale plans made by governments or companies can often have profound effects on small communities and their environment. Countless people have to move if a dam is built, forests are cleared for new highways, airports or palm oil plantations. Promised compensation is often incomplete or not given at all. For local communities, objecting to such plans is not easy. Nevertheless a community in Uganda has managed to receive fair compensation from the government. Together with the organisations NAPE and AFIEGO, partners of Both ENDS and IUCN NL, the community has persuaded the government to buy new land for those who are forced to move.

Community disrupted
In the Ugandan district of Hoima, the government has planned a new oil refinery. The 7,000 people who lived in the designated refinery site were forced to leave their homes. Most accepted financial compensation, but this was hardly enough to actually start again. Nearly 100 families therefore did not agree with the offered compensation and dragged the government to court. However, the case was postponed for more than a year. In that time most of the inhabitants left the area, which disrupted social life and left those who stayed behind in uncertainty.


Fair compensation after all

With the aid of various social organizations, including NAPE and AFIEGO, the community reached a breakthrough. The government has purchased a piece of land where the families that stayed behind can move to. The government also takes the responsibility to build roads, water and electricity here. The families receive a piece of land equivalent to the one they leave behind and they have a say in the construction of their new home. This case shows that seemingly powerless communities can indeed book good results if they stand up for their rights. With perseverance, determination and a little help from our partner organizations, this community has ensured that the conflict has been satisfactorily resolved.


Photo: Daily Monitor

Read more about this subject