Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, member of the European Parliament (MEP)/Photo: © Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana

Pipeline projects threaten rights of Tanzanians and Ugandans — warns European MP

PRESS RELEASE: Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, member of the European Parliament (MEP), warns of grave human rights violations in Tanzania and Uganda as a result of the planned construction of a crude oil pipeline running across both countries by international companies


Total Energie and other investors are implementing two mega-projects that violate the human rights of more than 100,000 people in East Africa. For the people, these oil deposits are a curse rather than a source of development.

Leading environmentalists criticise that the construction of the pipeline will deprive thousands of families of their homes and will also cut through particularly protected areas and nature reserves. For example, the planned pipe runs through important areas for elephants, lions and chimpanzees. The construction will also endanger the water supply in the region for millions of people.

The huge pipeline, heated to 50 degrees, runs through Tanzania and Uganda, causing environmental damage to flora and fauna. The pipeline transports oil, which leads to massive displacement of the population, which is deprived of its livelihood.

The consequences can include severe famine in an already precarious area and further deterioration of schooling and labour market opportunities for boys and girls.

Although Total Energies has promised the affected farmers compensation for the loss of their land, little or nothing has reached them so far. Opponents of the oil projects are considered enemies of the government and are subjected to threats, arrests and imprisonment.

Activists who have been campaigning against the plan since the planning phase of the project are calling for support from Europe. Hilda Flavia Nakabuye of “Friday for future in Uganda” sees the future of young people of her generation destroyed in favour of a capitalism of the bad kind.

Once again, the exploitation of fossil fuels is leading not only to an ecological tragedy, but also to a human tragedy.

The European Parliament, and we Greens/EFA in particular, pledge our support. The planned project must be stopped until its impact on the local population, flora and fauna has been minimised and compensation has been paid in full.


About Dr Herzberger-Fofana, MEP:

Dr Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana was elected into the European Parliament on 26 May 2019 as a candidate of Bündnis 90/Die Greens from Germany and has since been campaigning for a democratic, humane Europe. She is the first vice-chair of the Committee on Development (DEVE) and the Delegation for relations with the Pan-African Parliament (DPAP), and Co-President of the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup of the European Parliament (ARDI). She is also a substitute in the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and Substitute in the delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (DACP) – ACP stands for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

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