This area is predominantly a tropical savanna lying in the Albertine rift with a population of about 1,203,457 people. It is endowed with a diverse array of ecosystems, natural resources and endemic vertebral species but this also poses conservation and exploration related problems.
An estimated 712,530 Hectares, about one third of the total area of Bunyoro, is covered by water mass. The infrastracture for oil and gas development including a refinery, roads, power station, airport, and related facilities will cover over 190,000 Hectares which is close to 10% of the total area of Bunyoro. The various protected areas and wildlife reserves also cover a very massive part estimated to be about 20% of the total area of the sub region.
The remaining land especially for areas adjacent to the onshore oil discoveries is already raising a number of issues common to such technological zones. Most of the discoveries that constituted the 88 percent oil exploration success were made on land. So, the temporal and permanent acquisition of land poses a number of challenges affecting the ways of life for local communities who need to make trade-offs amidst the planned industrial developments.
However, oil prospects have also triggered conflict since most of the land in the sub region is held under customary arrangements which have their limitations in protecting the continuum of land tenure rights. Commercialised agriculture is also undermining subsistence livelihoods in a context of environmental degradation and food insecurity.
These concerns mostly indicate failure to integrate national development agenda with community plans. A lot of dialogue and mutual respect are needed.