An Australian company has announced the discovery of oil in western Uganda. After drilling for three weeks, Hardman Resources says it’s found oil at its Mputa well in the village of Kaisotonya, Hoima District. Hoima is 220 kilometers northwest of the capital, Kampala. Company officials say they’re still not sure of the size of the Mputa oil reserve, and they don’t know what its commercial potential will be. But this discovery is already raising hopes that Uganda can now tackle the issue of poverty.
Robert Kabushenga is a spokesperson for the Ugandan government. English to Africa’s Ruby Ofori asked him for an update on the discovery. “What has been established is that there is oil…. My information is they’re shifting the rig to another place within the same area on the lake and they will do further tests. But they are confident that there is oil because they have seen gushes as they were drilling.” Mr. Kabushenga said, “Uganda is very prepared” to use the revenues from its newfound oil wealth to alleviate the poverty of its people.
Asked about other African oil-producing nations were poverty alleviation remains an issue, he said: “What the critics never address is the involvement of foreign powers in the negative aspects of the oil industry…. Nobody ever looks at the faults of the foreign companies.” Mr. Kabushenga said it would take a couple of years before Uganda makes any commercial gains from oil exports.