Impact of COVID-19 on communities affected by Oil and Gas activities
On 30th June, GRA hosted a webinar to explore and consider ways to deepen our understanding of the current impact of COVID on communities affected by oil and gas activities, including safety and security concerns and continuing or new implications into the future.
The webinar drew 48 participants from national Civil society actors, as well as those from GRA project areas of Buliisa, Kakumiro, Lwengo, and Kyotera districts. Participants included community activists, civil society actors, and law enforcement agencies, District Community Development Officers (CDOs), and Probation Officers.
Speakers gave their first-hand insights on the impact on the pandemic on their local communities. Faced with the coronavirus pandemic's unprecedented conditions, participants noted that local communities would acutely feel the effects like the loss of income and lack of employment. The epidemic is exacerbating an already precarious financial situation, further putting people and local communities at risk. Participants noted that addressing preexisting systemic and structural inequities brought into sharp relief by the epidemic will require planning, collaboration, and forward-thinking creativity.
Participants agree that it is imperative to engage and consult communities to voice their ideas and concerns under these circumstances. Due to public health guidelines restriction on public gatherings, government officials called on CSOs to help discover innovative ways to integrate local communities and find ways to amplify their voices and experiences. Findings from these consultative processes will have immediate and long-term applications for contributing to policy and service delivery and development to better support local communities as they deal with and recover from the myriad challenges they are experiencing.
Transformative partnerships will prove essential and GRA is committed to working closely with government stakeholders and oil companies to respond and adapt to these challenges.
If you missed our last webinar, you can catch up and be sure to sign up for our next!
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