TOTAL Oil Exploration in Murchison Falls National Park a Potential risk to Uganda wild life
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has revealed that Total E&P (Exploration and Production) are set for a nine month seismic study of the Murchison Falls national park for oil starting this September.
Presently only 40% of Uganda’s oil rich Albertine region has been prospected, leading to 58 successful oil wells and deposits of 2.5b barrels of oil.
“We have been meeting officials from Total E&P, who informed us of a nine month seismic project they intend to carry out in the Murchison Falls national park starting this September,” said Robert Ddamulira, the WWF Energy and Climate manager for Uganda.
He was addressing reporters at the African Centre for Media Excellence in Bunga, Kampala. Ddamulira pointed out that Total will employ 500 people to cover a distance of 100 km with the national park as the epicentre.
Seismic studies involve of use small quantities of explosives and low frequency sound waves to determine the existence of oil and related hydro carbons.
“Previous seismic studies have increased occurrences of poaching in National parks through the creation of wide inroads. The wide roads enable poachers to drive into the park kill large animals,” Ddamulira said.
“When successful, they intend to open oil wells and build pipelines through the national park.”
More than 70% of all present oil wells are within national parks and other protected areas posing potential risks to fauna and flora.