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To Say That Uganda Is Transporting Crude Oil by Trucks is the Peak of Ignorance

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By Elison Karuhanga

I have read a number of allegations that the oil companies and the government are secretly dealing in Uganda’s oil. The allegation is that trucks/trailers are being used to export our oil as the common man waits for production to start.

I can say without fear of contradiction that this particular allegation is untrue, false and utterly ridiculous. It is sad that the allegation is coming from minds capable of better things. I hope in this simple piece to demonstrate this as clearly as possible. Let us start by agreeing on the basic facts.

Oil companies like TOTAL and CNOOC are businesses. They are mainly here to make a profit. They will make the profit by producing and selling oil. They hope, like all businesses to make sure that when they sell the oil they will get enough money to meet their costs and have money left over-this is called profit. So, let us agree that their motive is not hidden. Their motive is profit.

The second fact we can agree on is that the oil is mainly got from underground. When it comes out of the ground it is in its “raw form”. This “raw form” is what we call crude oil.

Would oil companies make profit if they secretly put the crude oil in trailers and drove it to Mombasa? The answer is no. In fact it would be one of the worst business decisions ever taken in the history of business.

How is oil transported?

Crude oil is mainly transported across borders and over long distances by pipelines. The reason why Uganda plans to build a pipeline is not because pipelines are fashionable and not because we lack trucks. It is because the pipeline is the most cost effective way to transport crude oil. Uganda’s oil will be transported to Tanga in Tanzania. From Hoima to Tanga is about 1,455 km. From Hoima to Mombasa is around 1,375 km. The cost of transportation in the pipeline ranges between US$ 12.2 to US$ 15 per barrel. For the sake of argument we shall assume Uganda will pay a tariff of US$ 20 per barrel and not 12 dollars. That is about 70,000 shillings. A barrel of oil is equivalent to 159 liters. Therefore to transport cargo of 159 liters of oil in the pipeline for a distance of 1,455 km it would cost UGX 70,000.

If an oil company decided instead to use a truck how much would it cost? Let us ignore the risks associated with road transport, the cost of repair, the cost of the drivers etc and just look at the cost of fuel in the oil tanker.

The average cost of fuel in the tanker from Mombasa to Hoima and back to Mombasa would be in the region of UGX 5,000,000. The cost of road transport for crude oil is therefore seventy one times more expensive than the cost of transport in a pipeline. Why would even a terrible businessman go for the road transport route?

Not only is road transport more expensive it also completely wipes out any chance of profit for the oil company. Remember the oil tanker/trailer is carrying crude oil. The product which is going to be sold is crude oil. The cost of 1 barrel of crude oil is around US$ 59 (Uganda Shillings 218,300). So why would anyone transport cargo worth UGX 218,300 at a cost of UGX 5,000,000? Even a bad business cannot make such a decision.

As a simple issue of cost there is no benefit, not even a remote one from transporting oil by road to Mombasa or Tanga.

Cost is not the only issue. Using trucks to carry crude oil from Hoima would be a logistical nightmare. Many books have been written explaining this very point. Valcalv Smith in his book “Oil: A Beginners Guide” said, “replacing a 1000 km pipeline carrying 20,000 tons of oil a day with tanker trucks (assuming each truck holds 25tons and covers 1,000 km a day) would need a fleet of 1,600 vehicles with a load arriving every 54 seconds.” In our case the coast is 1,455 km away. We would probably need 2,000 trucks to transport Ugandan oil.

It is also worth noting that trucks of a certain weight are not allowed on the road. Long distance travelers in Uganda will have noticed at different points these things manned by UNRA called weigh bridges. The weigh bridge measures the weight of the truck. In this case the 2000 heavy trucks arriving in Hoima every 54 seconds (at all hours of the day) would not last a month since they would simply make a large chunk of the road network impassable.

When the crude oil will eventually be pumped out, it will first be taken to what is called a Central Processing Facility. Here the oil will be separated from other impurities like mud, stones etc. Only crude oil will go to the pipeline. Once in the pipeline it will be heated because Uganda has waxy crude oil that needs heating. So these trucks are they taking Crude Oil, mud, water, stones etc? Or are these trucks fitted with mini Central Processing Facilities? If they are, then Uganda will be the 1st country on earth to have imported them from God knows where (unless we are secretly manufacturing these trucks.)

Even if the trucks would process the crude, it would still need to be heated. One wonders if these magical trucks are also fitted with solar panels.

The whole thing is impractical, not profitable, not possible, not necessary and absurd.

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Uganda Rugby Cranes flagged off ahead of Zambia, Zimbabwe clashes

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The rugby cranes today had their last training session at Kyadondo rugby grounds ahead of their return legs with Zambi and Zimbabwe. The rugby cranes were seen off by some of the staff from their main sponsors Nile Special and enjoyed previlage of the company of the American and South African ambassadors.The Uganda rugby team besides going for the wins have also fronted the Nile Special current campaign #NoExcuse which is aimed at reducing sexual harassment in society.

Here is the selected team to fave Zambi and Zimbabwe

1. Ssenteza Santos

2. Kivumbi Saul

3. Kimbowa Collin

4. Asuman Mugerwa

5. Odugo Faragi

6. Kanyanya Ronald

7. Otto Micheal

8. Olet Simon Peter

9. Odong Charles Uhuru

10. Asaba Brian

11. Pius Ogena

12. Ayera Desire

13. Emong Eliphaz

14. Aaron Ofoyrwoth

15. Epilo Paul Emmanuel

16. Ivan Magomu Arthur

17. Masendi Paul

18. Okorach Micheal

19. Munyani Ian Arnold

20. Wokorach Philip

21. Semwami Daudi Ashraf

22. Simwende Kimono Justin

23. Kasito Adrian

24. Oketayot Byron

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Tusker Lite confirm participation in first ever Food Street Festival in September

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On Monday, the first ever “KCCA Foodie Street” was introduced to the Ugandan social events scene promising an assortment of delicious local delicacies all aligned to take place at the heart of the city’s most esteemed street, Parliamentary Avenue come Saturday, September 7, 2019.

The Foodie Street will host food lovers within the city to a day of merrymaking on the food filled street is organised by KCCA and My Food Network in partnership with Tusker Lite to bring food lovers an unforgettable food fest.

“Kampala is the entertainment capital of East Africa and KCCa has a strategy to make it the premier entertainment and tourist destination in Africa. One of the ways to do this is to showcast our rich culture and hospitality and we know that showcasing our abundant street food, we can achieve this goal, said KCCA Director of Education and Social Services, Mrs Namuddu Juliet Nambi.It has been touted as a fun outdoors lifestyle food event that will showcase Ugandan street food while offering a variety of treats from the different street food exhibitions set to leave food lovers spoilt for choice. Revelers will be given the option of pairing their dishes with either a Tusker Lite or Coca Cola.

“Tusker Lite remains at the heart of the best food experiences in the country. We are looking forward to bringing foodies the party flavour in the first edition of this fun outdoors food experience come September,” said Balaba Brian, Key Accounts Manager, UBL.The event shall have over 30 street food vendors catering to the public from 10:00am to midnight. The event is a mirror of other street food festivals held in numerous cities around the world like Paris, Berlin, London, Manila and Brussels, just to mention but a few.

From sunrise to sunset the streets will be buzzing with activity with every other stall premise creatively set up as either a café or restaurant with Kampala City Council Authority giving the greenlight on the fun food event. There will also be music, dance and drinks all perfectly placed under one historic venue, Parliamentary Avenue located between the IPS building and Jumbo Plaza. Entry to the event is free.

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Nile Special ‘No Excuse’ Campaign to highlight Sexual Harassment  

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Nile Breweries under its flagship brand Nile Special has launched a behavioral change campaign dubbed “No Excuse” with the aim of addressing the predicament of sexual harassment in the country. The brand will address the subject by calling for smart drinking measures among its consumers,since alcohol abuse has been identified as one of the primary catalysts for sexual harassment.The aim of the ‘No Excuse’ campaign is to:

• shine a spotlight on the  sexual harassment problem.

• to bring about a change in long established societal behaviours and attitudes

• to activate bystanders with the aim of decreasing and preventing this act

• challenge the public to take appropriate action against perpetrators of sexual harassment

• encourage stakeholders to support the victims to access appropriate support services.

Attention is increasingly being paid to the prevalence of this vice in Uganda. Whether this is down to more cases being reported or the abuse is on the rise, is a matter worth investigating. What is certain, is that the public space in which women can freely express themselves must be guarded. This calls for collective reflection by all stakeholders on the measures to be undertaken to ensure that every individuals rights and freedom are protected as enshrined in the constitution under Article 20.Utilizing the brand’s online platforms, the campaign will implore the public have its say on what constitutes sexual harassment. The information will be curated and the data presented into a communication campaign to both raise awareness and also educate the public about sexual harassment while changing people’s attitudes and beliefs.

 Francis Nyende, the Nile Special Brand Manager said, “It is a good thing that the plight of women regarding sexual harassment is edging to the fore of the national discourse. But it’s also rather disturbing that almost daily there’s a story about a woman that has been sexually harassed. As one of the leading Ugandan brands we have decided to champion the cause. ”Our ultimate goal is to reduce and prevent the incidences of sexual harassment, which affects the lives of too many women, both directly and indirectly, and thereby make a much safer society.

“Some of the places where women are more susceptible to sexual harassment is during the nightlife (bars, discos etc). At certain hours of the night, after consuming a couple of bottles, some men throw caution to the wind at the expense of the women. So we are here to educate revelers that they should drink smart, there’s no excuse for sexual harassment,” says Nyende.

Ms. Gloria Nakafeero, the Commissioner Gender and Women Affairs, Ministry of Gender,

Labour and Social Development said, “We are using the ‘No Excuse’ campaign as a catalyst to

get people to question themselves and their behaviors. We are aware that by identifying the problem we shall need to do more to try and create meaningful change.  So by raising awareness about the issue, the existing laws and policies as well as the existing support services, we will contribute towards positive change in attitudes to make sexual harassment “inexcusable” and unacceptable and demand positive actions towards the elimination of sexual harassment.

I am happy to be associated with the Nile Special ‘No Excuse’ campaign.  It always starts with a simple insight. What rings true for me was the idea that in Uganda, whenever we observe or encounter of sexual harassment, we’re inclined to absent ourselves of any responsibility – or worse still, excuse behaviour that’s totally inexcusable.”  Article 24 of the constitution protects the dignity of every one in Uganda. No person shall be subjected to any form of inhuman or degrading treatment. This includes respect of a person to their psychological or mental wellbeing.

Enough is enough. Let’s stop excusing sexual harassment. Learn more at the Nile Special ‘No Excuse’ campaign websitewww.noexcuse.ug

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