Big Oil disturbs Ugandan elephants and villagers

From East African Business Week (Kampala, Uganda):

Elephants On Rampage, Oil Firm Blamed

Geoff Magga

8 January 2012

More than 1 000 homesteads have had their crops destroyed after hundreds of elephants and other wild animals from Uganda’s largest national game reserve, Murchison Falls National Park, broke out of their habitat.

Apart from the invading elephants, other animals including buffaloes, giraffes and lions have also become are also a threat to the nearby homesteads.

Tullow oil‘s recent exploration in the area has been blamed for the crisis.

Patrick Oryema, chairman of Nwoya District, where part of the park is located, lamented the state of affairs in his district, where he said people have nothing to eat after the elephants from the park destroyed hundreds of acres of farmlands.

“Hundreds of acres of food are eaten by elephants every day,” he said, with the most affected crops being rice, cassava and sorghum.

“A mature elephant can eat up to 300 kilogrammes of food per day,” he added to emphasise the scope of destruction.

Locals claim that noise made by heavy machinery and strong night lights is disturbing the park’s ecosystem.

The Nwoya district leader has threatened to mobilise his people for a demonstration in the capital if the situation does not improve soon.

8 thoughts on “Big Oil disturbs Ugandan elephants and villagers

  1. Dutch aid money partly funded Abramovich’s Russian pig farm

    Monday 23 January 2012

    A massive pig farm in Russia partly owned by oil billionaire Roman Abramovich was partly paid for by Dutch development aid money, according to a report by pro-animal campaigners from the Wakker Dier foundation.

    The report states Omsky Bacon, a company owned by Abramovich, one of the richest men in the world, and Dutch animal feed giant Nutreco, won a €750,000 grant to expand production at the plant from 250,000 to 500,000 pigs a year.\\

    The grants came from a government fund named the Private Sector Investeeringsprogramma which is supposed to help small and medium sized firms invest in developing countries with the aim of creating jobs, ensuring sustainable development and helping the environment.


    But an official report into the scheme shows PSI creates too few jobs and there are not enough checks on the social responsibility aspects,
    television show Radar said in its coverage of the report.

    In addition, giant pig farms like Omsky Bacon are competing small farmers out of the market, development aid professor Paul Hoebink of Radboudt University told the show.

    Wakker Dier also uncovered another €700,000 subsidy which helped one of the Netherlands’ biggest pig farmers to build a giant pig farm in Bosnia. The grant was given even though the owner has convictions for feeding his animals contaminated pig feed.


    And in Romania, €400,000 of Dutch money went to build a poultry factory farm where chickens are kept in much smaller cages than allowed by law in the Netherlands. The funding for mega pig farms is also noteworthy because they officially discourage in the Netherlands.

    Labour and Liberal MPs plan to raise the PSI issue in parliament.

    In a reaction, the foreign affairs ministry said all grant applications are carefully examined and have to meet strict criteria.

    For example, the company must have been unable to get a bank loan, the project must be innovative and the money is a one-off contribution amounting to a maximum 50% of the initial investment.



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