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This investigation is a joint project by :
Total is developing an oil extraction project in Uganda, the Tilenga project, as well as a 1,443 km oil pipeline in Uganda and Tanzania, the EACOP project. These projects cause significant environmental damage and lead to human rights violations. They lead in particular to deforestation, loss of agricultural land, impacts on biodiversity in protected natural areas, and are located in areas at risk of flooding.
You will find more information on the EACOP project in the reports A Nightmare Named Total
(2020) and EACOP: A disaster in the making
Thanks to Guillaume Meurice for lending his voice to the French version of the investigations.
Well and pipeline plans
The plans available in various public documents from Total and its Chinese partner CNOOC allowed to map the projects.
This mapping has been completed and adjusted using satellite images, which allow to precisely follow the progress of the construction.
Satellite images are space imagery data from the European Space Agency's Sentinel project, as well as NASA's Landsat project. We were able to examine all of the usable images since 2006, i.e. nearly 400 images.
These satellites provide optical images, but also information outside the visible spectrum, such as infrared, which make it possible to identify different elements (infra-red is for example particularly reflected by chlorophyll, which shows vegetation).
We have created a flood indicator, making it possible to identify surface water, defined as the average of standard indicators of humidity and vegetation. The humidity indicator (NIR and SWIR bands) highlights surface water, but also areas of wet vegetation. The vegetation indicator (red and NIR bands) allows to distinguish between surface water and vegetation. The average of the two therefore allows to highlight wetlands, but not vegetation, i.e. surface water.
Thanks to these indicators, we have been able to map all the flooded areas visible on satellite images since 2006, both due to rainfall and the rising waters of Lake Albert.
Thanks to free images from the Sentinel satellites, we were able to date approximately when land stopped being cultivated in the area of Total's oil processing plant (Central Processing Facility, CPF).
These images do not allow to distinguish very precisely the cultivated areas, so we then purchased several images from commercial satellites, the shots of which are more precise, on the dates identified thanks to the free images.
These images allow to see the evolution of crops for each plot of land.
Sources and tools
Data for protected areas comes from the World Database on Protected Areas
. The areas indicated on the map are not exhaustive, only areas close to the project are shown.
The satellite data come from the Sentinel
project of the European Space Agency, and from the Landsat
project of the NASA. Commercial images have also been purchased from several providers.
The basemap is sourced from Norway's International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI)
, and made available by Planet Labs Inc. Images are updated monthly.
The map is based on Leaflet