Oil and water? The impact of oil on livelihoods in Uganda

The discovery of commercially viable oil in Uganda’s Albertine Graben region in 2006 set in motion the race for oil wealth across the country.

As Uganda moves from exploration and appraisal to production, civil society organisations in both Uganda and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been raising concerns over the potential impact of oil activities on people’s livelihoods, wildlife conservation and tourism.

Of particular concern is fishing – a major way of life in the region and one on which a number of livelihoods depend. In 2014, International Alert carried out an exploratory survey around the region to identify some of the perceived and real conflict risks associated with the oil industry’s impact on fishing across Lake Albert.

This photo essay highlights the feelings, thoughts and views of local communities across the lake, and suggests ways in which the oil and fishing sectors could peacefully coexist. We are convinced that careful understanding of the issues at play in the Albertine Graben will create trust, ensure stability and promote coexistence.