“My name is Maxwell Atuhura, I am an environmental rights activist in Uganda. In May 2021, I spent two days in prison because of my work in the area of the future Total oil platforms in my country. » At this point in the conversation, the line was interrupted by the torrential rains that were beating down on Uganda’s capital, Kampala. Maxwell Atuhura, who usually lives in the district of Buliisa, on the unspoiled shores of Lake Albert, where the mythical Nile River originates, is now hiding in town.
“I am not the only one to have been arrested. One of my comrades remained in detention for two months. Some activists have been threatened with death. It is representatives of the authorities or subcontractors working for Total who intimidate us. »
The Ugandan government tried last year to suspend the activity of its association, Afiego (Africa Institute for Energy Governance). The activist nevertheless continues his work with the communities who suffer from the work undertaken by TotalEnergies (the group’s new name for a year). “Where the vegetation has been razed, the soil has been poorly drained, so the rains of recent weeks have caused flooding”laments Maxwell Atuhura, who fears “even more pollution when the extraction will have started”.
As of next December, the drilling of 400 wells will begin. A third is directly in the park protected since 1926 of Murchison Falls: this land res
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