Cape Town — Ugandan activists have met Pope Francis to ask for his support in stopping the East African Crude Pipline (EACOP) – a heated crude oil pipeline planned to run from Hoima in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania. The proposed project will cover an area of 1,443-kilometres and run near Africa’s largest freshwater reserve – Lake Victoria – posing a huge threat to local livelihoods and biodiversity in the region. According to 350.org, more than 100,000 people are being forced off their land and are facing expropriation.
The oil deal signed in February by France’s TotalEnergies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation is looking to exploit crude oil reserves under Lake Albert, on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. If this project goes ahead it will be the longest heated crude oil pipeline in the world.
Climate justice activist Vanessa Nakate, together with Diana Nabiruma of the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), a non-profit based in Uganda and Maxwell Atuhura, the Executive Director at Tasha Research Institute Africa Limited, based in Uganda, met with the Pope.
“Pope Francis has been consistent in support of a global shift away from fossil fuels, providing a moral framework for a clean energy transition outlined within his 2015 encyclical ‘Laudato Si’, and more recently urging Catholics to stop investing in fossil fuels in 2020”, according to 350.org.