MASINDI -TotalEnergies Uganda has contracted Net Worth Company Limited to provide gender management services in the six districts affected by the Tilenga Project in the oil-rich Albertine graben.
The districts include Masindi, Nwoya, Kikuube, Buliisa, Pakwarch and Hoima.
On Monday, officials from the hired company had an inception meeting with Masindi district leaders including the LCV chairperson, the Resident District Commissioner [RDC], the district police commander, the chief administrative officer, the community development officer, and the probation officer among others.
The meeting held at Masindi district headquarters, aimed at charting a way forward on how the project to address gender issues will be implemented in the district.
“We are going to be addressing gender based issues caused by the oil activities in the Tilenga Project Area. We are asking for support from the district officials because we are going to work with you to address gender-based issues,” said Ronald Kakande, the deputy project manager.
He also noted that they are going to sensitise communities about the impact of gender based violence and putting in place mechanisms to manage grievances, supportting inclusion of women in all projects, training of district gender groups, and training of trainers among other activities.
“It’s also our responsibility to inform you of the available employable skills in the project. Sometimes you people miss out on this information. But there are opportunities we shall be letting you know such that you apply,” he added.
While opening the meeting, Emmy Ngabirano, the RDC Masindi advised the project implementers to address the real issues affecting the people.
“You should also align your activities with the district work plan such that we move in the same direction. Don’t implement the project in isolation. What I need is transparency and accountability while implementing the project,” Ngabirano warned.
Cosmas Byaruhanga, the Masindi district LCV chairperson commended the officials from Net Worth Consult company Limited for choosing to work in Masindi leaders to address issues that affect communities.
He added that Masindi district has been ignored on many opportunities on assumption that it is not directly affected by the oil activities.
“Masindi is equally affected by the oil activities like any other district in the Albertine Graben because we are sharing the same social services. The pressure of food has now come to Masindi. The heavy trucks are using the same roads. When you come to Masindi to address issues of gender, you are doing the best since we are also greatly affected,” Byaruhanga noted.
He further noted that the most problem affecting the communities is the inadequate information regarding different government programmes being implemented in the country.
“There’s a very big information gap between the communities and the oil companies regarding the progress of oil extraction. We hope all these will be addressed,” he said urging stakeholders to provide relevant information to the locval people.
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