Gov’t moves to confirm availability of petroleum in Dokolo

By Ouni Jaspher

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz around the presence of hydrocarbon in Lake Kyoga water source in the district of Dokolo and others.

Many have speculated about its existence, while some have outrightly dismissed it as a mere rumor.

However, the government through the ministry of energy and mineral development has taken a big step towards confirming the availability of hydrocarbon at Lake Kyoga water source.

According to Joshua Lukaye, the principal geochemist at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the government conducted a survey in early 90’s using an aeroplane and discovered the presence of oil and petroleum in the Lake Albert areas.

This led the government to extend their search to all the lakes districts, including Kyoga where some parts of Dokolo district is attached.

Meeting different stakeholders at Dokolo district council Hall on Wednesday, Lukaye confirmed that if oil is found in the district, the government will take necessary steps to ensure that the community is not negatively affected. 

He stated, “When necessary, if relocation is needed, the government will cover the expenses and even provide permanent housing with land equivalent to the one being used.” This shows the government’s commitment to minimizing any potential impact on the local community.

Furthermore, Lukaye assured that fishing activities will not be affected as the oil is located 2-4 kilometers deep in the lake. 

“The use of technology will be implemented to pick the oil, ensuring that our fishermen can continue with their daily activities without any hindrance,” he added. 

Meanwhile Joshua Ssuubi, the Senior Geologist at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said the government has started its exploration efforts in the Serere district and plans to move to Dokolo district soon. 

While meeting with Dokolo district Councilors, Ssuubi emphasized the importance of confirming the presence of hydrocarbon in the area.

When asked about the discovery of oil in Dokolo, the response from the technical team was uncertain. “This uncertainty is what has prompted the government to take action and confirm the availability of hydrocarbon in the district” he responded to Councillors .

Ssuubi explained that the methodology and approach to be used will be logical, physical, and chemical. This means that the team will conduct sampling and analysis to confirm whether the samples have the characteristics of hydrocarbon.

Another method that will be used is geophysics, where the team will use specialized equipment similar to those used by surveyors. This will help in identifying potential areas where hydrocarbon might be present. 

Moreover, before heading to the field, the government plans to inform the district and sub-county officials so that they are aware of their presence. This is to prevent any misunderstandings or suspicions arising that the government may be trying to grab land.

He noted that the team conducting this exploration will consist of both geologists and geochemists, with a total of 14-15 members. 

Additionally, they will also involve members of the community to support them during this process. This will not only provide employment opportunities but also ensure effective communication with the locals.

Lt. Col. Francis Muganzi also mentioned that the survey done in early 90s using an aeroplane has already shown promising signs and the technical team is just visiting to confirm the availability.

The district chairperson of Dokolo, James Otto Apili, and RDC Barbra Akech both expressed their enthusiasm for the discovery, stating that it is a blessing for the community of Dokolo.

They believe that this will bring in economic opportunities and development to the district.

Some Dokolo district Councilors who spoke to this website said the government’s move to confirm the availability of hydrocarbon in the Lake Kyoga water source districts is a significant step towards harnessing the potential resources of the area. 

“This will not only boost the local economy but also create job opportunities and contribute to the country’s overall development” they stated.

In Dokolo district there are four sub counties of Adeknino, Kwera, Okwongodul and Agwata which is attached to the lake source expected to be visited as the ministry movies to confirm availability of hydrocarbon.

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