Broken Vows on the Pipeline: Ugandan Women Bear the Brunt of EACOP’s Boom

Beneath the gleaming promise of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) – touted as the world’s longest heated pipeline – lies a disturbing reality for Ugandan women. A recently unearthed report paints a grim picture of violence, dispossession, and environmental woes disproportionately impacting this vital segment of Ugandan society.

The EACOP, a joint venture between Uganda, Tanzania, and international oil giants, promises a golden age of economic prosperity. Yet, for many Ugandan women, the project has become a symbol of shattered dreams. The report, compiled by a consortium of NGOs and independent researchers, exposes a web of issues:

The influx of a predominantly male workforce for pipeline construction has triggered a spike in sexual assault, harassment, and domestic violence. Local authorities grapple with understaffed police forces and a culture of silence surrounding these crimes.

Traditionally, Ugandan women play a crucial role in land ownership and management. However, the report reveals instances of unfair compensation or outright exclusion from land acquisition negotiations, leaving women dispossessed and vulnerable.

The project’s footprint disrupts agricultural practices and access to water sources. This jeopardizes the food security and economic independence of many women who rely on these resources for subsistence farming and income generation.

The report raises concerns about potential water pollution and ecosystem disruption due to pipeline construction and operation. These environmental consequences have a magnified impact on women who rely heavily on these resources for daily needs.

The report doesn’t mince words. It demands immediate action from the Ugandan government, international oil companies,and relevant NGOs.

The EACOP project serves as a cautionary tale. Large-scale development projects often overlook the gender dimension,leaving women to bear the brunt of the social and environmental costs. The report’s findings urge a critical reevaluation of the project’s true impact and a commitment to ensuring that development truly benefits all Ugandans, not just a privileged few.

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