Adrian Wasswa Ddungu, LCV Chairman for Buvuma District Local Government has appealed to the Government of Uganda to prioritize the compensation of land owners in his area of jurisdiction whose land is being used for oil palm growing.
Speaking at the belated Buvuma District Women’s Day celebrations on Friday held at Busamuzi Sub-county Headquarters as well as at the guided tour of the oil palm nurseries under Oil Palm Buvuma Limited by the Presidency Minister-Hon. Milly Babalanda, a concerned Ddungu argued that the delayed process to compensate the land owners is posing a serious challenge to the progress of the much-desired palm project under the National Oil Palm Project through the Ministry of Agriculture.
“As a District, we are fully behind the Oil Palm project having borrowed a leaf from how Kalangala has been transformed courtesy of Oil Palm. However, the issue of compensation for landowners continues to pose a serious concern to the progress of this project in the area. Bona-fide land owners and their fees due to them are already known and Government is just left with paying them off”,a concerned Ddungu noted asking Government to ensure that even if it requires asking for a supplementary budget,it should be the way to go if President Museveni’s plan for oil Palm Growing in the gazetted areas within Uganda is to be realized.
Earlier on during the guided tour, the General Manager of Oil Palm Buvuma Limited, P. Chin in the company of Salim Maiso who is the Chairman of Oil Palm Buvuma Limited notified the Presidency Minister-Hon. Babalanda who was flanked by the State Minister for Culture-Hon.Peace Mutuzo that as investors, they are more than ready to accomplish the task at hand provided all land-related matters are sorted.
“We commend Government of Uganda for prioritizing oil Palm Growing not only in Buvuma but other areas like Kalangala.We have palms ready to be planted but due to lack of cleared land in some areas,its hindering progress as per the workplan”,Chin confided in the attentively listening Minister Babalanda adding that if the issue of land is sorted soonest,the investors’ experience in oil palm growing will be felt practically.
In response, Minister Babalanda noted the concerns of the LCV Chairman, and the General Manager of OPBL and assured the investors of the government’s will to compensate the land owners to allow the flourishment of the oil palm project without any hindrance.
“Government is very much interested in oil Palm Growing and it explains why every time the President is addressing the public,he lays emphasis on palm growing”, Babalanda said promising to get in touch with the concerned entities to ensure that the issue of compensation is prioritized.
It should be noted that residents of Kakyanga, Bukalabati, Kaziru, Bukyiyindi and Ndaiga in Nairambi sub-county alongside residents of Bajjo, Bulima, Bubere, and Butende in Busamuzi Sub-county and residents of Mpolwe and Kabubu in Buvuma Town Council and residents of Nsese, Bukinalwa, Namatoke, Buwanzi in Buwoya sub-county gave in their land over 5 years ago and have waited for Government to compensate them to no avail. This delayed compensation continues to affect the quicker progress of the oil palm project yet the investors are more than ready to move as per the initial plan based on the Memorandum of Understanding with the Government. Some of the would-be beneficiaries have since passed on due to the Government’s delayed prioritization of this very important project.