As the mega pipeline project in East Africa begins this month, Total is accused by an NGO of being the source of a future environmental and humanitarian disaster.
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline, the mega-pipeline project in East Africa, Total causes a scandal. The French multinational has drawn the wrath of the NGO Reclaim Finance. In its report "Total does dirty things: Finance complicit?" ”, The organization tries to dismantle the speeches of the leaders of Total and to make the group face up to its responsibilities. “Despite its narrative of a multi-energy group oriented towards LNG (liquefied natural gas) and the production of electricity from renewables and gas, Total SE remains today an oil company determined to take advantage of the last reserves of conventional oil The report says.
An environmental disaster
Among the criticisms made by the NGO against the multinational, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. A project in which Total is involved and which, continues Reclaim Finance, is “ on track ”to become Africa's DAPL - a mega pipeline project in the United States -. The DAPL is " contested because of the serious violations of the rights of indigenous populations associated with its development, in addition to its risks for the climate and the environment ”, specifies Reclaim, who therefore considers that Total is participating in the same type of operation on the continent, therefore .
On paper, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline has something extraordinary: 1 kilometers, to link the Hoima refinery in Uganda to the port of Tanga in Tanzania, a production of 445 barrels a day and many consequences for the companies. populations and the environment. Reclaim indicates in fact that " Total SE intends to produce around 200 per day from its Tilenga project located in and around the Murchison Falls protected natural park ”.
On the ecological side, "the oil transported would probably cause more than 33 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, a quantity significantly higher than the combined emissions of Uganda and Tanzania", deplores the NGO which states that, "in in addition to fueling the climate crisis, the pipeline opens up critical ecosystems for oil extraction, including Murchison Falls National Park, one of the most visited in Uganda ”. This project, continues the report on the multinational, “threatens many protected environments, forests, wetlands and mangroves as well as the livelihoods of local communities”.
Local populations driven from their land
On the human side, the pipeline project is also worrying since, explains the NGO, it "should cause a large-scale displacement of communities, passing through hundreds of villages in Uganda and Tanzania". Already, tens of thousands of people have seen their land grabbed "and their rights violated". Something to worry NGOs. On March 1, more than 260 organizations sent an open letter to the banks financing the construction of the pipeline to discuss the “unacceptable” risks involved in this project.
NGOs, national and international, are encouraging banks not to finance the project, estimated at $ 3,5 billion. They ask government leaders to prefer investments in renewable energies to this pipeline. The organizations accuse the banks that will finance the pipeline of being irresponsible, recalling that 400 villages will be affected by this project and that 14 households could lose their land.
Total has, according to a BankTrack report, already blocked access to their farmland for 5 households since 000. According to the document, no compensation has been provided for these families. On its website, Total responded to accusations in the Reclaim Finance report. A clarification that tries to whitewash the multinational which, not once, does not mention the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project.