Hopes of Kenya in convincing Uganda over the proposed oil pipeline route continue to diminish as talks aimed at arriving to consensus enter the home stretch, even though in March these talks have been intensified, especially following a decision by Uganda to ink a deal with neighboring Tanzania, Citizen reported.
Through Tanzania, the pipeline route will be between Hoima in Uganda and Tanzania’s port of Tanga while through Kenya it will be from Hoima through Lokichar and landing at the port of Lamu.
Initially, the three countries were torn between the northern route to Kenyan Lamu Archipelago on the Indian Ocean coast, and a route down south to Tanzania via Masaka to Bukoba and onto Tanga port also at the Indian Ocean coast. However, in the wake of March’s meeting between President Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan side added the “Mombasa (Kenya) route” on the table, All Africa wrote.
According to sources cited by Citizen, Kenya’s chances of convincing Uganda to change its mind are fast fading as in the talks in Uganda’s capital of Kampala has seen very little progress. It is expected that a report with a “final position” will be presented on April 23.
Uganda was the first country in East Africa to discover commercial viable oil wells in 2006, Kenya then followed with findings in Turkana in 2012. With these discoveries, the two nations began toying around with the idea of a joint pipeline to the Kenyan coast for refining of the crude oil.