This follows reports indicating that the community members from five villages neighbouring the oil Central Processing Facility have petitioned the Ministry of Health complaining about the air pollution.
The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has explained that air pollution at the Tilenga oil project activities in Buliisa District is created by very strong winds coupled with a prolonged dry spell in the area and not the Central Processing Facility.
This follows reports indicating that the community members from five villages neighbouring the oil Central Processing Facility have petitioned the Ministry of Health complaining about the air pollution generated by the ongoing construction works for the Tilenga project.
But PAU insists that the problem is created by natural factors and not oil related activities.
“The current high dust levels are a result of very strong winds coupled with a prolonged dry spell within Buliisa District and the surrounding areas. This situation is not only affecting the Tilenga Project Industrial site area but a wider landscape within Buliisa District,” the PAU statement reads in part.
To deal with this challenge, the frequency of water spraying has been increased to suppress the dust generated.
“In addition, site activities that generate high dust levels have been scaled down, and vehicle movements are being limited within and outside the operation areas. Therefore, the situation being witnessed is largely temporary and is worsened by natural factors. The above measures are being continuously implemented to reduce the dust emissions, and it also is expected that the situation shall normalise once the dry spell and strong winds ease,” PAU added
There are ongoing construction works in Buliisa District, at the Tilenga Project Industrial Area, which will host the Central Processing Facility, Construction Support Base, Construction Camps and Drilling Support Base. These works commenced in May 2021 and constitute part of the early works for the enabling infrastructure to be put in place for the Tilenga project.
PAU says all Tilenga project activities, like other oil and gas activities in other parts of the Albertine Graben, are undertaken with due consideration to the environment and host communities.
“This includes ensuring that all identified adverse impacts during project implementation are mitigated.
The PAU is committed to working with relevant stakeholders to safeguard the health of the communities and to ensure environmental and social protection during oil and gas activities,” PAU adds.